Benuue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has made a U-turn and distanced himself from those calling for the resignation of Dr. Iyorchia Ayu as the National Chairman of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Ortom made his position public in a press statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Nathaniel Ikyur, affirming that he has confidence in Ayu’s ability to lead the party to victory in next year’s general elections.
The Governor’s statement was followed allegations by Jemgbagh Development Association, Abuja that he was plotting the downfall of his fellow Benue man, Ayu.
Ortom’s statement goes in contrast to that of his ally, the Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, who leading a resenting faction of the PDP to which he belongs to.
Following the election of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar as the presidential candidate of the PDP, Wike’s group has been calling for Ayu’s resignation and declared Ayu’s removal remains the only condition for the aggrieved faction to work for Atiku’s victory in the incoming presidential poll.
The statement reads: “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”.