– Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state have kept everyone guessing about his next political move
– The governor’s posters with the crest of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have flooded the streets of the state capital, Makurdi – The governor also shunned a peace meeting with the leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state on Tuesday, July 7, shunned the invitation by the leadership of the APC for a meeting to reconcile him with his erstwhile political godfather, Senator George Akume. This is posters of the governor crest with the logo of the PDP flooded the state capital, Makurdi, on the same day. Akume was, however, at the meeting presided over by the party’s deputy national chairman (north), Senator Lawal Shuaibu, who expressed hope that a solution would still be found to the crisis in spite of Governor Ortom’s absence.
A close political associate of the governor however confided in the Thisday newspapers that the governor was technically no longer a member of the APC and that many of his followers did not see the need for the meeting. “I think Governor Samuel Ortom has made up his mind; he is technically no longer a member of APC; and many of his huge followers don’t see the need for the meeting; that is why he failed to attend the party’s invitation on Tuesday. Those who value him, politically, are already talking to him,’’ the source stated.
The APC had summoned Ortom and Akume to try to resolve their differences, after the governor had on Monday, July 16, disclosed that he has been sent out of the party, and is currently exploring a new option to actualise his future ambition. While Shuaibu met with Akume behind closed doors for two hours, the governor was said to have stayed back in Makurdi because he felt nothing positive would come out of the discussion. The governor was said to have called the APC national chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, to inform him that he would not attend the meeting, as he was already engaged for another meeting. Top government sources disclosed that the governor was already in negotiation with leaders of the PDP to rejoin it. According to a member of the PDP in the state, Mr. Ejimbi Oloja, he said the governor had made contact with the leadership of the party in Abuja and Benue state. “He has made contacts with the national chairman of PDP, Chief Uche Secondus, Rivers state Governor Nyesom Wike, Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti state and a host of others who have assured him that the party will welcome him,” he said. He further disclosed that Ortom was advised to reconcile with the leaders of the party in the state, including former Senate President David Mark and former governor of the state, Mr. Gabriel Suswam.
He has since reconciled with the two and it has been said that they are favourable to giving the party ticket to the embattled governor.
Last week, in what many saw as a political move, Governor Ortom of Benue approved a partial dissolution of the Benue state executive council. A statement by the secretary to the state government, Professor Anthony Ijoho disclosed that only four commissioners and seven special advisers are to retain their portfolios.