The national chairman of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), has expressed relief of the party over the defection of the governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
This is, as he also accused the governor, of ineptitude in the discharge of his duties as chief security officer of his state, insisting that Governor Ortom got the party’s ticket on a platter of gold.
Addressing newsmen at a press conference at the APC national secretariat, yesterday, Comrade Oshiomhole, chided the Benue governor of none performance, saying that these were the issues party leaders in the state complained about, which answers were not given.
Oshiomhole, also accused Ortom of making political gain on the security situation after allegedly spending heavily on security in the state.
He said: “When the APC leaders asked him this question last week to address these allegations, whereas the president and vice president had visited other states to commission projects, they had only visited Benue on condolence visits. It is okay to lament that there is no federal presence, where is the explanation for the absence of projects in Benue State? His argument is that he had diverted a lot of the fund to security issues. And that raises the question, can you spend 22billion on security and yet the people are more and more insecure?
“And if he agrees that he is spending money on security, then it means that he appreciates the responsibility as the chief security officer of the state to protect lives and property and not simply pass the buck.
“So, I felt scandalised this afternoon after watching him say he had to leave where he is, which is the APC and if your people are not safe there, you return to where you are coming from.
“I am relieved as national chairman and I believe that the leadership of the party in Benue State is also relieved that Ortom has left the party and returned to the club he belongs to. A club whose philosophy is ‘share the money and not develop communities.’ So, we now have a clean platform to search for a clean and credible candidate from Benue that can provide leadership that the great people of Benue State deserve and not someone who seeks to make political capital out of human graves and celebrating the death of his own people.
“As a party, we condemn any life that has been wasted by any criminal, whether in Benue State or any part of Nigeria and we accept that the government’s irreducible minimum responsibility must be to protect lives and property. But I condemn in strong terms, anyone of us who is in government that seeks to get political capital on deaths because we have shared responsibility of Nigerians, irrespective of religious, social and political status. So, I just thought that I should clear the air that we are relieved that Ortom has gone and if you look at it, he got our ticket on a platter of gold because he was never a participant during the process of our party’s formation.
While saying the party will henceforth be more thorough on its candidates, Oshiomhole said, “He became a candidate by accident and the lesson for our party is that never again should anyone become a candidate on our platform by accident. It has to be by conscious choice and as things are, for those of us who monitored my comments since I became national chairman, my aim is that we will have a political party that is defined by clear cut ideology and people will join or abstain from joining except on the premise of conviction.”
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