Days after accusing the All Progressives Congress (APC) of showing him a red card, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State is currently at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja.
The governor who entered the APC national secretariat at about 11:55 am on Thursday, July 19, 2018, was received by the deputy national chairman (North), Senator Lawali Shuaibu.
Ortom is meeting behind closed doors with the APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole and other members of the National Working Committee.
APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, said Ortom was still in the party adding that the governor was not handed a red card by the state chapter of the party.
The meeting comes barely 24-hours after Governor Ortom was sighted amongst PDP stalwarts and the Senate President Bukola Saraki in Kwara state.
The politicians had met behind closed doors amidst defection rumours.
On the purpose of the meeting, the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase said, “Its true, Ortom is currently meeting with the National leadership of the APC and the parley is centered around the crisis within the party in Benue State.”
In other news, the APC, Benue chapter has confirmed that it has not given Gov. Samuel Ortom any red card contrary to claims by the governor.
The Director of Publicity of APC in the state, Mr Peterhot Apeh made the denial in a statement made available to NAN on Thursday in Makurdi.
“We wish to state categorically that the Benue State chapter of the APC has not at any point given a red card to Gov. Samuel Ortom or any other member of the party.
“Rather, the party at its last state Congress in Makurdi endorsed the governor, and leader of the party in the state, Sen. George Akume for another term in office.
“The endorsement of the governor and leader of the party was meant to further unite the party in the state.
“And provide a stable political atmosphere for the governor as well as the leader of the party to deliver better dividends of democracy to the people of the state.’’
“In return for the endorsement by the state chapter of the party, we demand from the governor improved welfare for the people of the state,’’ Apeh said.
According to him, these demands have become necessary due to several interventions by the Federal Government in form of bailouts, Paris Club Refunds, budgetary supports.
He said that in spite these and the huge borrowings by Ortom, the state was still clouded with huge salary arrears.
“This includes unpaid pensions of retired civil servants, huge deficits of basic infrastructure and porous security situation bedeviling the state.
“We demand explanations on the handling of affairs, especially issues bothering on security in the state.
“We are grossly embarrassed that these issues raised with the governor in confidence for the purpose of repositioning governance to improve the lot of Benue people has been juxtaposed and treated unclad without regard to the code of secrecy.’’
Apeh said that it was disheartening that the governor was apparently trying to shy away from accountability and to portray the party in bad light.