•PDP groups reject Ortom •Statement from groups irrelevant, says Ortom
The ongoing snag over the defection plan of the Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom took a new dimension on Monday as two groups from the People Democratic Party (PDP) rejected the plans by the governor to join its rank.
The meeting of all aspirants who have indicated interest in the 2019 governorship election under the PDP in Abuja rejected the governor even as they claimed that the governor would be a liability to the party.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja, the aspirants said while they were not against the return of defectors; they were against people with John Tondu, one of the aspirants said: “The governor of Benue state today is a liability, not an asset. He’s not welcome.
Also the G14, a group made up of prominent Benue elders in the PDP kicked against the governor’s to join the party.
The group who met with the immediate past governor of the state Dr Gabriel Suswam in Makurdi outright reject the move to bring the governor to the PDP.
A source at the meeting warned that if the governor was allowed into the party they would move out to seek alternative platform.
He said members of the G14 were angry with some members of the National executive council of the PDP who are behind the planned move of the governor.
However reacting to the rejection of the governor by the two groups, Special Adviser to the Governor on media and ICT Mr Tahav Agerzuar said the press statement by the groups is uncalled for adding that the governor has not told anybody he will be joining the PDP.
He said if the governor was to join the PDP they group of aspirant would have no say. “This group of aspirants will have no say as the NEC of the party and other prominent members will be they ones to consult.
He said politics is about interest and has no permanent enemy or friend, explaining the the governor was tired of one man show and wants independence, adding that he was consulting to decide on the next destination.
He also briefed his appointees on the frosty relationship between him and the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state and his difficulty in operating in the same party with it.
He said the leadership of the party at the national level had scheduled a meeting to try to resolve their differences in Abuja in a few days time and that he would announce his final decision on party membership thereafter.
The Governor said whatever decision he would take will reflect the wishes and aspirations of the people of Benue State but will not be imposed on any of the appointees.
Meanwhile Elders from Masev, Ihyarev and Nongov Development Association, MINDA geopolitical zone on Monday also urged Governor Samuel Ortom to make haste and shop for a new political platform on which to achieve his re-election bid.
The elders’ council under the chairmanship of Senator JKN Waku took the decision during a meeting at the Makurdi residence of the elder statesman.
Senator Waku, who was the first to speak said MINDA had in the past, supported other blocks including Kwande, Jechira, Jemgbagh and Sankera to enjoy their turns as Governor of the state and would not allow those whom he said have catapulted themselves into demigods to cause confusion in their ranks.
According to Waku, there was no crisis in the All Progressives Congress in Benue state but one person had decided to hijack the party and MINDA has no time to waste struggling over a platform, haven been engulfed by herders crisis.
Mr. Joe Nyam spoke for Gwer East and Sir Vincent Aondoakaa spoke for Gwer West, while Chief Thomas Ano and Dr. David Tsevende spoke for Makurdi and Guma respectively.
They said but for the military interregnum that cut short the administrations of Aper Aku and Father Moses Adasu of blessed memory as Governors of the state, Senator George Akume and Gabriel Suswam did eight years as Governor and Ortom’s case would not be different.
While assuring the Governor of their unflinching support for his re-election project, the elders said APC-led administration had not been fair to Benue people, hence the need to move en mass to another political party as quickly as possible.
They vowed to resist the antics of divide and rule by any individual or group of persons, stressing that when a man marries and divorces several wives, his character should be questioned.
Rep. Dickson Tarkighir and Rt. Hon. Avine Agbom while speaking for National and State Assembly Members from MINDA said if Benue people abandon Ortom at this critical time that he had given his all for them, nobody would speak for the state tomorrow, adding that any Tiv man who complains that Governor Ortom had cried too much is an enemy of the Tiv nation.
Governor Ortom in a remark said he was overwhelmed by the support of his kinsmen from MINDA to his cause, noting that if it were in developed climes, his position on ranching would have been rewarded handsomely instead of the persecution he is currently facing from several quarters.