Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has made an about-turn and distanced himself from the insistence by Governor Nyesom Wike’s Camp on the resignation of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, National Chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu.
Ortom,a prominent member of the Wike Camp made his position clear on the issue in a statement issued by Nathaniel Ikyur, his Chief Press Secretary. He uncharacteristically maintained that he has confidence in Ayu’s ability to lead the party to victory in next year’s general election.
The Governor’s statement was in reaction to the allegations by Jemgbagh Development Association, Abuja which accused him of plotting the downfall of his fellow Benue man, Ayu.
The statement where he challenged the Jemgbagh Community reads in part; “Governor Ortom vouched for the integrity and capacity of Dr Iyorchia Ayu to lead and rebuild the PDP to victory and rescue Nigeria from the misrule of the APC maladministration. That is why Ayu was returned unopposed by the Northern caucus of the party and got elected as the National Chairman of the PDP at the party’s convention.
“Where was Jemgbagh Development Association, when Governor Ortom galvanised support from across the leaders of the party to make Dr. Ayu PDP’s National Chairman? What was their contribution to that project that they now want to use clannish stance to blackmail the governor?
“This amorphous and emergency Jemgbagh Development Association, Abuja, which has never been heard of before, is now masquerading as the voice of Jemgbagh to embark on campaign of calumny against Governor Ortom, who has worked selflessly for the people of Benue State.
“Governor Ortom is more Jemgbagh than most of the people claiming it now. This is fact, because he has done more for Jemgbagh, both in terms of appointments and projects executed as well as patronage in the area, than even one of the Jemgbagh sons, who was governor. Besides, Governor Ortom has consistently worked for the unity of Benue State and will never stand in the way of any of her citizens, either here in the state or in the diaspora
“For those, who claimed to be leaders of this Jemgbagh Development Association, Abuja, we urge them to be truly developmental in their drive to build cohesion among the people and attract real development to their area rather than engaging in mischief or blackmail.”
It would be recalled that since after the failure of Wike to clinch the Presidential ticket of the Party, he has been at loggerheads with Ayu and Atiku, threatening to work against Atiku’s emergence as President, and also calling for the resignation of Ayu. Wike is backed by four Governors,, including Ortom.
Wike had alleged that Ayu was biased during the PDP Presidential Primary and also worked for Atiku. He added that Ayu was eyeing the seat of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF.