Why Ortom Dumped APC – Oshiomhole

ADAMS Oshiomhole, the national chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), has opined why Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, left its fold.
Governor Ortom recently dumped the ruling APC and rejoined the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP).
His defection comes after he had earlier hinted that he was without a political party having been chased out of the APC.
Mr Oshiomhole last week held a meeting with Mr Ortom and the governor walked back on his hint, saying he may no longer defect.
A week after he appealed to the Benue State Governor not to leave the APC, Adams Oshiomhole now says the governor is a failure and he is relieved the governor left.
He said Ortom left the party because he could not account for the funds which accrued to the state under his leadership. He said another reason why the governor dumped the party is because he has realised he will not be given a return ticket of the APC having been accused of underperforming.
“I am relieved as national chairman, and I believe that the leadership of the party in Benue is also relieved that Ortom has left the party and returned to the club he belongs,” Mr Oshiomhole said in an interview with journalists on Friday.
“The first is that as you all recall, Gov. Ortom had said the APC in Benue state had given him red card to leave our party and that they would not field him in the forthcoming governorship election in 2019 and because the door had been shut against him, he had no choice than to leave.
“Without going into investigations, we invited him to speak to us on the issues. We also invited our leaders of our party in Benue state to also brief us on what the issues were.
“From the point of view of our leaders in Benue state, their position was clear that they believed that fielding Gov. Ortom on the APC platform in the 2019 election could only lead to electoral defeat for a number of reasons.
“They reminded us that in spite of the allocations accruing to Benue state and in spite of the bail out funds amounting to over N20 billion that they had received in two instalments of N10 billion each and in addition to the huge sums of money that Benue state collected from the Paris Club Refund, Gov. Ortom has not, and is not paying salaries to Benue workers as and when due, including teachers, local government employees and the state civil servants.
“He is owing some of them as much as 12 months salary, some more than 16 months and so the entire economy of Benue state that survives largely on civil servants salaries is to that extent compromised,” he said.
The APC national chairman also accused Mr Ortom of making political gain on the security situation in his state, after allegedly spending heavily on security.
He said that the Benue governor when asked to defend himself following the accusations against him, could not give reasonable explanation.
“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?
“Ortom’s argument is that he had diverted a lot of funds to security issues,” Mr Oshiomhole said.
Mr Ortom’s Benue State is one of the most affected by violence involving armed herdsmen leading to hundreds of deaths.
He has accused the federal government, which controls all security agencies, of not doing enough to stop the killings.
The APC leader said he felt scandalised watching Mr Ortom on television saying he had to leave the APC because the party could not protect the state.

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