FREEPRESS – Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue, has denied any plan to dump the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The denial is contained in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Terver Akase issued to newsmen in Makurdi.
It said that the media report on the governor’s purported plan to leave the APC was false, misleading and handiwork of detractors playing politics with the blood of the people.
”We read a report in a national daily of today which named Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom as one of the All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders planning to defect to another political party.
”The report which is obviously sponsored is not only false but also misleading. Governor Ortom has no intention to leave APC for another party and has not consulted anyone on the matter.”
The statement stressed that Ortom enjoys cordial working relationship with other leaders of the party both at the local, state and national levels.
It said that the main focus of the governor was to deliver greater benefits of democracy to his people including tackling the security challenges confronting them.
“There is no cause to warrant his defection to another party,” the statement stated.
It explained that Ortom’s stance of seeking justice over the invasion, killing and wanton destruction of property by suspected herdsmen was what any good leader ought to do.
The statement said the governor was appreciative of the efforts being made by President Muhammadu Buhari in ending the conflicts in the state.
According to the statement, the governor is fully aware that the killings in Benue began during the past PDP-led administrations in the state.
”It must be noted that the killings predate the APC as a party and the present administration. The governor’s focus is on solving the problem in collaboration with other stakeholders.”
It added: “Fortunately, President Buhari has responded positively by sending troops and other security operatives to chase away the armed militia from Benue communities.”
The statement further dismissed insinuations that Ortom had fallen out of favour with other leaders of APC in Benue, including Sen. George Akume.
“The report is aimed at creating acrimony between the Governor and the Senator.
”Governor Ortom was popularly elected to lead Benue State and he has demonstrated uncommon commitment and selflessness in justifying the confidence reposed in him.
“He, will therefore, not be distracted by baseless reports and rumour of defection.
”What is of greater concern to the governor now, is how to stop the killings in the state and also tackle the humanitarian crisis that displaced nearly 500,000 people.’’
It stated the government was collaborating with the Federal Government on the rehabilitation and resettlement of the displaced persons.