“Further consultation is going to take place. I will do whatever the Benue people tell me to do. I have not made a u-turn.”
Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom has declared that he stands by his initial claim that he is no longer in the All Progressives Congress (APC) as he has been served a red card by the party leadership in his state. He said he awaits the decision of the Benue people to know his next line of action.
The governor who spoke to newsmen in Makurdi shortly after he returned from Abuja where he had gone to meet with the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomole on Friday said if the Benue people ask him to leave the party, he would not hesitate to leave as the people have the final say in the matter.
“For now, where I stand is that I have not defected to any political party. I remain outside the pitch because I have been given a red card by the leader of the party in the state. As to whether the red card is quashed is a different thing until I hear from them. I have not gone to any other place. But if the Benue people ask me to leave APC, I will leave.”
Ortom who expressed dismay that he was being misquoted as double-speaking on the matter said he stood by his initial statement that the leader of the party in Benue, Senator George Akume gave him a red card from the party and that he is now outside the pitch waiting for the next line of action.
He said his meeting with the APC National Chairman was to see how the issue can be resolved stressing that a final decision on the matter was yet to be reached as further consultation was still ongoing.
“If people are misrepresenting me, it’s a different thing. I met with the national chairman of APC. We are still talking. No decision was taken on anything. Further consultation is going to take place. I will do whatever the Benue people tell me to do. I have not made a u-turn.
“The National Chairman of APC invited me and it would have been dishonorable not to honour the invitation. But I’m not alone on this journey. They (APC) are doing consultation and I’m also doing consultation.” Asked about an agreement he reached with President Muhammadu Buhari and some APC leaders in 2015 that he would only run for one term, Ortom said he is not aware of such agreement positing that as it is now, it is only the people of the state that can tell him to contest or not to contest the election. “I’m not aware of any such agreement except the Benue people ask me to step aside. I have a right as a citizen of Nigeria to run for two terms.”