Published On: Thu, Jul 19th, 2018

Samuel Ortom Makes U-turn, Says He Remains In APC

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By Sadiq Umar – Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom on Thursday made a U-turn in his planned move to quit the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Mr. Ortom had not officially announced plan to leave the APC. He however told journalists on Monday that the party has given him a red card, likening himself to a footballer who was out of the football pitch waiting to be picked by another club.

But while speaking with newsmen after a closed-door meeting with the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, Thursday, the Benue governor said it was the state chapter of the party that gave him red card and not the national.

The governor and Sen. George Akume, a former governor of the state, had been having a running battle over who controlled the party in the state.

“It was the Benue APC that gave me a red card, not the national APC and that was enough to make myself available out of the pitch,” Mr. told journalists after meeting with Mr. Oshiomhole.

He said the leadership of the party told him that its decision is superior to that of any individual or group of people “and I think that is good enough.

“They have spoken to him (Akume) and have spoken to me, and the state’s stakeholders are going to be spoken to. That’s where I belong.

“We have not concluded the matter; it’s an ongoing process. I always stand for peace.

“I always want peace to prevail, and that’s what I call for’’.

“I am here in APC; I am a member of the party, I am still flying the flag of APC. I only said I was given red card, but I have been corrected by the national secretariat,” Ortom clarified.

Mr. Ortom expressed appreciation to the party’s leadership for intervening in the matter, adding that it would be able to resolve the differences between him and other stakeholders.

Also speaking, Mr. Oshiomhole said the APC did not have red cards in its cupboard and could not give what it didn’t have.

He noted that there could, however, be legitimate legal issues and disagreements in some of the party’s state’s chapters.

The former Edo State Governor said it was the responsibility of its leadership to help aggrieved members to find a common ground.

According to him, the disagreement in Benue APC are not fundamentally irreconcilable.

“In Benue, we are going for a win-win solution. Gov. Ortom is not going anywhere. He is a very prominent member of our party, and we appreciate his leadership in the state.

“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that is hovering around must know that it is only people without honour that will vomit in the morning and convert it to launch in the afternoon,” Mr. Oshiomhole said.

“People like Ortom can’t leave PDP three and half years ago with his eyes open and because of some tension, is thinking of returning.

“He is a man of honour and he knows that once you move one step forward, you will want to take the second step to consolidate the first step, that’s the way to go.

“Be assured that the PDP can go and do whatever they want to do, but it won’t change the situation in the minds of those who are convinced in building the future,” he asserted.

Mr. Oshiomhole also boasted that the APC had tools to solve its problems and assured it would deploy such tools in Benue to make Ortom, Akume and the people of the state not just APC members, but happy ones.

He equally assured that the party’s leadership would do everything possible to help those who had issues to have them resolved/NAN.

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