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Gov Samuel Ortom Speaks with Both Sides of the Mouth as he Denies Supporting Ayu’s Removal and Vows to Stand by Wike

Samuel Ortom
Samuel Ortom

By Uche Amunike

Barely 24 hours after the Governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom dismissed rumours about being in support of the removal of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman , Dr Iyorcha Ayu, he has denied a statement he made on the matter, vowing not to abandon Gov Nyesom Wike of River State, but was however, curiously silent on Ayu.

Speaking to Newsmen yesterday, after presiding over the Benue North-West Senatorial District PDP caucus meeting, which was held at the Benue People’s House, Makurdi, Ortom reiterated that Wike was not treated fairly by the party.

Recall that Gov Samuel Ortom was accused, Monday, by the Jemgbagh Development Association of being involved in the decision to remove Ayu, a fellow Benue man. He however denied the allegation, through a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Nathaniel Ikyur.

He noted in his statement, that it was impossible for him to move for the removal of Ayu because he personally helped in appointing him, knowing his capacity to rebuild and lead the party to victory in the 2023 general election. He further stated that it was a generally known fact that he worked selflessly, hand in hand with other prominent citizens of Benue state to ensure that Ayu was elected as National Chairman of the PDP even against all odds. The statement added that ‘Samuel Ortom could not therefore, turn around to work against him to be removed from office’.

The statement released by Governor Samuel Ortom on Monday, clearly contrasted with the position of the members of the Wike-led group in the PDP, who maintained that their irreducible minimum condition for peace to reign in the PDP was for Ayu to step down as PDP Chairman.

Embarrassed by the position he took in his earlier statement, however, Ortom made a U-turn, admitting that he would not abandon Wike, ultimately proving that the Jemgbagh Development Association were not wrong to have accused him of hatching the plot to with his friends in the PDP to remove his kinsman from the party.

While trying to clarifying issues, the Benue state governor however, did not comment on the key issue, which was whether Ayu should stay or not. While he remained mute on the advocacy for Ayu’s sack, he concentrated on stating how Nyesom Wike was unjustly treated.

Samuel Ortom was seen to have spoken from both sides of his mouth, judging from his latest statements in a bid to eat his cake and have it. His words: ‘I just came back from London this morning with Wike and I still maintain my stand on what I said. I have not moved away from there. I still sympathise with Wike for the injustices meted out on him and our group.’

The governor further stated that, ‘The party leadership has not been fair to Governor Wike based on the activities that took place during the convention and after the convention.’

‘They have not been able to adequately deploy the internal conflict resolution mechanism of the party to resolve those issues.’

‘I still sympathise and stand with Wike and let the leadership of the party at the national level do the right thing. It is not too late to do so. Politics is about interest, and where your interest is not protected, you have the right to protest. We remain committed to the PDP but still want the right thing to be done, so that everybody will be carried along’, he said.

He maintained that it was not late to resolve the problems in the party and added that he hoped the issues would be properly addressed, stating that he had an interface with the Board of Trustees which gave him that hope.

‘The issue in contention about the national Chairman, the BOT, was here some few days ago and we deliberated on the matter. They sought to know what my feeling was about the crisis and I told them the truth as far I am concerned.’

‘I gave them my recommendations and I hope that justice will be done so that our party will gain its position to take over power in 2023,’ he said.

The governor maintained that despite the crisis rocking the party at the national level, Benue State does not have any problem, stressing that, ‘from bottom to top, we are good to go, as far as our party is concerned. I am working for our candidates.’

He affirmed that he would not work against the PDP, but would support every candidate, even though he was aggrieved. Hear him: ‘that does not mean I am not aggrieved, Wike is aggrieved and I am aggrieved too.’

He confirmed that after due consultations in the caucus meeting, a Benue North-West Senatorial Campaign team for the senate seat would be constituted and integrated into the main campaign council of PDP in Benue state.


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