Local

Ortom declares intention to defect from APC

…says he’s been given red card by the party

John Alechenu and John Charles

The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, on Monday announced his intention to dump the ruling All Progressives Congress.

Ortom, who described himself as a ‘child of God’, said he had yet to decide which party he would move to.

The governor claimed he had been given a red card by the ruling APC, adding that he was still floating, waiting for any party that would admit him into its fold.

Ortom gave the hint during the inauguration of a special adviser to the Bureau of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Jerome Torshimbe.

He said, “Many people have been asking that as we dedicated the state to God, we are still facing challenges but the Israelites passed through the wilderness, where there were giants, wild animals and other things that are harmful but God took them to the Promised Land.

“All these challenges that we see today, we shall see them no more. All that we are required to do is not to begin to be wayward in our conduct but to move to the righteous side of God. Once we do that, things will work out for our good.

“Looking at what is happening to us, sometimes I’m tempted to think that we are dying like people who do not have God. But we must choose the path of working with God, obeying and serving him.”

He added, “We need to come together; let party or ethnicity not divide us. As for party, I have been given a red card and I’m outside the pitch. So, if I have been given a red card and I’m standing outside, I’m a free man.

“So, I don’t know what will happen next but I’m waiting. If others approach me I will tell the Benue people that I’m joining another football club. I’m a child of destiny and it’s only a God that will decide what I will be.”

Meanwhile, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, has said the exit of Ortom from the party was still in the realm of speculations.

He said this while responding to questions from reporters after he briefed them on the outcome of a meeting of the party’s National Working Committee in Abuja on Monday.

Oshiomhole described Ortom as a very senior member of the APC who told him (Oshiomhole) on a number of occasions that he would not leave the APC unless he was pushed out.

He said, “I know that Governor (Samuel) Ortom is a very senior member of the party and he has said so repeatedly in print and has said to me one-on-one that he will not leave the APC unless he is pushed out.

“I have, since I assumed the chairmanship of this party along with my colleagues in the NWC, not shut out any governor and certainly not Governor Ortom.

“And in these days of social media, I will not be responding on the basis of rumours and unverified reports.”

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