by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has urged National President of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Iorchia Ayu, to reach out to aggrieved leaders of the party and plead for their understanding over calls for his resignation, rather than take his counsel.
He said, Sen. Ayu chose to take the ignoble path of disuniting the party by his actions and utterances.
The Press Secretary, Nathaniel Ikyur to the Governor disclosed this during an enlarged meeting with Jemgbagh PDP Elders Forum, comprising Gboko, Tarka and Buruku Local Government Areas held on Sunday, October 9th, 2022, at the Gboko residence of Hon. Mike Mku.
According to him, the meeting was at the instance of the Jemgbagh PDP Elders Forum, which sought to get clarifications on the cold war between the Governor and the National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, following calls by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, that, the national Chairman should resign.
Nathaniel Ikyur stressed that, the National Chairman did not maintain neutrality in handling the affairs leading to the PDP national convention, which produced Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as the Presidential Candidate of the party.
The governor explained further that, Ayu himself committed to resigning should a northern presidential candidate emerge at the northern caucus at the Bauchi State Lodge, and wondered why Senator Ayu was now reneging on his promise, which he voluntarily made before all the northern leaders of the party.
He reiterated that, contrary to speculations that he was working at cross purposes with Ayu, he had actively rallied support from his PDP Governor’s colleagues and other critical stakeholders for the emergence of the national Chairman with the interest of the state, especially to place Benue in national politics.
He also urged the Jemgbagh Stakeholders to also invite Senator Ayu and himself to a meeting so that they could both present their positions on the matter.
The governor noted that, despite the betrayals, intimidation and blackmail, he would continue to stand for justice for his people, adding that, no intimidation or blackmail just because of his senatorial ambition will make him succumb.
He insisted that, he would never trade the interest of the state to gain political power. Reacting on the details of what snowballed into the current crises, the governor dispelled insinuations that he was pulling down a Jemgbagh son, and stated emphatically that, he would never succumb to blackmail and keep silent in the face of injustice perpetrated by the PDP under Senator Ayu’s leadership.
“Already, some pseudo-groups claiming to be speaking on behalf of the Jemgbagh political block have been stoking public blackmail against the governor whom they accused of working against the interest of Ayu,” the statement added.
Governor Ortom maintained that, “Power belongs to God,” and no one should blackmail him because of his senatorial ambition; and nobody should think he will intimidate him because of the senate election.
He said, if God ordains him to be elected Senator for the Benue North-West Senatorial zone, no amount of blackmail or intimidation could prevent him from winning.
The governor told the Jemgbagh PDP Elders that Senator Ayu, who is also from the Jemgbagh political bloc, has mounted a “smear campaign and blackmail” against his person and office when he met members of the Board of Trustees of the PDP.
He said, since he was contesting for the Benue North-West Senatorial district Seat, he had become a subject of intimidation and blackmail by some Jemgbagh stakeholders as a result of the internal crisis rocking the party with Ayu as the helmsman.
Chairman of the Jemgbagh PDP Elders Forum, Barrister Sam Tsumba, said the Forum would invite Senator Ayu and Governor Ortom to further find a way to resolve the conflict.