Benue Governor, Ortom formally joins PDP

Ortom defection letter
Governor Samuel Ortom showing off his resignation letter from the APC
  • Your action is surprising – APC
  • Youths stop Ortom from attending APC meeting

Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has denounced his membership of the All progressives Congress, stating that he has “formally moved to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.”

His official exit comes a day after 50 members of the National Assembly denounced their membership of the APC and embraced the PDP.

The 50 comprised of 13 senators and 37 members of the House of Representatives.

In a meeting between the governor, 13 local government chairmen and 276 councillors at the Government House in Makurdi, Ortom said:

“This morning, I had wanted to go to Abuja to attend the meeting but some youths in the state refused, they asked me to go back.

“But let me formally inform this gathering that I have forwarded my resignation letter from the APC to the chairman of my council ward and he has promised to join me in the new party,” he said.

Waving his resignation letter to his guests, Ortom hinted that 10 out of 17 state lawmakers of the APC were ready to move with him to the PDP.

The local government chairmen and state legislators vowed to decamp with the governor to the PDP and also make sure he wins his second-term bid.

Benue youths protest
Benue youths in a protest at the Government House in Makurdi on Wednesday

In the same vein, over 40 youth groups under the ‘Coalition of Benue Youths’, on Wednesday laid siege to the Benue state government house and stopped the governor from travelling to Abuja.

Ortom was scheduled to meet with the leadership of the APC in a bid to resolve the differences between him and Senator George Akume.

The youths wielding placards with various inscriptions such as:  “Ortom don’t go back to the APC,”; “We don’t have land to donate for ranching,”; “The APC is Miyetti party,” Our farms are not for cows,” You must leave the APC,” Ortom is our party, “ and “2019: On Ortom we stand.”

Spokesman for the youths, Dave Ogbole, urged the governor not to attend the Abuja meeting but to seek an alternative platform for his re-election bid.

The youths said if the governor failed to heed to their advice and choose to attend the meeting, they will not vote for him in the forthcoming election.

His words: “We need a leader that will protect us and you have shown that in the past three years but we don’t want you to attend the meeting with the leaders of the APC.

“But if you insist, there is no problem but be ready to crush all of us,” Ogbole said.

Responding to their charge, Ortom said, “I know the support you have shown and still show to me but I promise you that I will protect your interest.”

Your action is surprising – APC tell Ortom

But the APC on Wednesday lamented Ortom’s defection, saying the party found the governor’s action “somewhat surprising.”

National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, said his party was shocked over Ortom’s defection adding that the party was making moves to ensure he did not leave its fold.

Abdullahi stated. “The party recalls efforts made by the National Chairman,  Adams Oshiomhole, to address some of the grievances raised by the Benue State governor pertaining to the local politics in Benue State.

“The governor had left the meeting saying he was satisfied with the assurances given by party leaders. We are still working on giving effect to the resolutions from the meeting. Therefore, we are somewhat surprised by Governor Ortom’s decision,” Abdullahi said.

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