Breaking With Wike, Ortom Declares That He Opposes The Removal Of Ayu
Samuel Ortom, the governor of Benue State, has refuted claims that he favors the ouster of Iyorchia Ayu, the national chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), stating it is difficult for him to support the ouster of someone he assisted to appoint.
Contrary to his former stance, Nyesom Wike, the Governor of Rivers State and a personal friend of Ayu’s, is now calling for Ayu to be fired as the party’s chairman. Ortom is a member of the Wike group that has called for the ouster of Ayu, a Northerner, after Atiku Abubakar, a Northerner as well, emerged as the party’s front-runner. Since the party’s presidential standard bearer is of Northern descent, Wike and his supporters claim that Ayu cannot continue in power.
Thisday adds that the Governor responded to claims made by a group, Jemgbagh Development Association, that he was complicit in the ouster operations against the PDP national chairman, a fellow Benuean, by denying the accusations in a statement released by his media adviser, Nathaniel Ikyur.
The governor claimed it was no secret that he sacrificed much of his time to help Ayu win “as the national chairman of our great party even against all odds” along with other well-known Benue residents.
The statement said, “The governor could not, therefore, turn around to work against him to be removed from office.”
He characterized as prankish the claims made by ”an amorphous, little known group parading itself as Jemgbagh Development Association, Abuja chapter” that he has a hand in Ayu’s current travails”.
In the build-up to the PDP’s national convention, Ortom said that with the support of other PDP leaders who trusted his judgment, they worked tirelessly to promote Ayu as having the necessary skills to lead the party, particularly in the 2023 general election.
“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?”
He said further “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.”