27th September, 2022
Samuel Ortom, Governor of Benue state, said he is not among the team calling for the removal of Iyorchia Ayu as the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Ortom’s position contradicts that of Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, and his allies, which he was a part of.
Wike and his allies had insisted that Ayu must resign as a condition for supporting the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
The Rivers State Governor insisted that the emergence of Ayu and Atiku, who are from the North, negates the principle of fairness, justice, and equity.
However, in a statement issued by Nathaniel Ikyur, his chief press secretary, Ortom said he has confidence in Ayu’s ability and will never work against the PDP Chairman.
The governor was reacting to the allegations by the Jemgbagh Development Association, Abuja that he was plotting the downfall of his fellow Benue man, Ayu.
Ortom said he worked tirelessly, alongside other prominent Benue citizens, to ensure that Ayu was elected and will never support his removal.
The statement from Ortom’s office said: “It is outright mischief for anyone, including the Jemgbagh Development Association, Abuja chapter to accuse Governor Samuel Ortom of having a hand in the current travails of the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu.
“It is an open secret that Governor Ortom worked tirelessly, alongside other prominent Benue citizens to ensure that Dr. Ayu gets elected as the national chairman of our great party even against all odds. He cannot, therefore, turn around to work against him to be removed from office.
“In the run-up to the National Convention, Governor Ortom got the backing of many leaders of the PDP who believed his sense of judgment when he 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 galvanized support from across the leaders of the party to make Dr. Ayu national chairman? What was their contribution to that project that they now want to use a clannish stance to blackmail the Governor?
“It is therefore laughable how this amorphous and emergency Jemgbagh Development Association, Abuja who has never been heard of before, is now masquerading as the voice of Jemgbagh to embark on a campaign of calumny against Governor Ortom who has worked selflessly for the people of Benue State.
“What is currently going on in our great party is the beauty in the evolution of democracy and has nothing to do with Governor Ortom working against the national chairman.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Governor Ortom is more Jemgbagh than most of the people claiming it now. This is a 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 claim 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.”