Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue State has expressed his confidence in the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the only effective platform through which he could pursue his political agenda for the welfare of his people.
Ortom made the declaration through a press statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, in Makurdi denying any plan to dump the party.
Akase stated that a media report on the governor’s purported plan to leave the APC was false, misleading and handiwork of detractors playing politics with the blood of the people.
“We read a report in a national daily on Sunday, which named Benue State governor, Ortom as one of the APC leaders planning to defect to another political party.
“The report, which is obviously sponsored, is not only false but also misleading.
“The governor has no intention to leave APC for another party and has not consulted anyone on the matter,” the statement read in part.
It stressed that Ortom enjoys a cordial working relationship with other leaders of the party both at the local, state and national levels.
It said the main focus of the governor is to deliver greater benefits of democracy to his people including tackling the security challenges confronting them.
“There is no cause to warrant his defection to another party,” the statement stated.
It explained that Ortom’s stance of seeking justice over the invasion, killings and wanton destruction of property by suspected herdsmen was what any good leader ought to do.
The statement said the governor was appreciative of the efforts being made by President Muhammadu Buhari in ending the conflicts in the state.
“The governor is fully aware that the killings in Benue State began during the past PDP-led administrations in the state.
“It must be noted that the killings predate the APC as a party and the present administration.
“The governor’s focus is on solving the problem in collaboration with other stakeholders.
“Fortunately, President Buhari has responded positively by sending troops and other security operatives to chase away the armed militia from Benue communities.”
The statement also dismissed insinuations that the governor had fallen out of favour with other leaders of APC in the state, including Sen. George Akume.
“The report is aimed at creating acrimony between the governor and the senator.
“Ortom is popularly elected to lead Benue State and he has demonstrated uncommon commitment and selflessness in justifying the confidence reposed in him.
“He will, therefore, not be distracted by baseless reports and rumour of defection.
“What is of greater concern to the governor now is how to stop the killings in the state and also tackle the humanitarian crisis that has displaced nearly 500,000 people,” Akase stated.
According to the statement, the government is collaborating with the federal government on the rehabilitation and resettlement of the displaced persons.
By Our Correspondent