…as Jime’s loyalists dump party for PDP’
lWe are stable despite defection, says APC
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, at the weekend, described the President Mohammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) as “a failed political party that cannot secure the lives and property of citizens as well as the economy of the country.
The governor spoke at the weekend at the defection ceremony in Makurdi where five APC ward chairmen led thousands of others to join the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
But the state chapter of the APC said it is “still in strong winning status in Makurdi Local Government, despite the stagemanaged defection news spreading from PDP camp in the state”. The defectors, New Telegraph reliably learnt, are loyalists of the APC governorship candidate in the 2019 general elections,
Barr. Emmanuel Jime. Ortom said that PDP was the only political party that would guarantee the security and economic survival of the country and assured them of equal rights and privileges in the party.
The governor, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr. Terwase Orbunde, commended the defectors for taking a wise decision to dump the APC which he described as “a failed political party that could not secure the lives and economy of the country”.
State PDP Chairman, Sir John Ngbede, expressed delight that the defection of five APC ward chairmen and other top members had weakened the party in the local government, stressing that APC must be voted out of power at the national level to ensure a better Nigeria.
Sir Ngbede congratulated the defectors for joining a stronger and winning party and called on them to rally round Governor Ortom to enable him defend the people and to undertake more people-oriented projects. Speaking on behalf of the defectors, Ibrahim Alhassan, formerly of the APC Central Mission and Solomon Kwaghtser formerly of APC Makurdi South, said the decision to join the PDP was to team up with the governor whom they noted had done well in tackling the security challenges confronting the state.
APC Caretaker State Publicity Secretary, Mr. James Ornguga, in a statement, said: “The five ward chairmen were no longer party officials, but people who had already been suspended for anti-party activities and other inappropriate acts deserving disciplinary actions. “We are also aware of the suitoring interest expressed by the PDP administration in Benue in busicapturing the Mbalagh APC ward chairman who has long before now been lured into joining PDP with much promises, alongside a few others. “It has only taken the continuous intervention of the party’s 2019 governorship candidate, Rt. Hon. Barr. Emmanuel Jime, the State Assembly Member, Makurdi North Constituency, Hon. Thomas Kwagh- Kudi and former Speaker, Dr. Stephen Tsav to keep the Mbalagh APC ward chairman in the party this long since he could not resist the temptation of joining the governor’s camp for a prescribed fee and has been with us bodily, but his spirit focused on getting a share of the Ortom bonanza.”
Mr. Ornguga said his party is not bothered by the decision of its erring members as it had always won in Makurdi Local Government, adding that “the said party officials, conscious of the expiration of their offices this year, may have merely jumped the ship to secure a place on the PDP dining table which unfortunately gets deserted day by day.”