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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

PDP Crisis: Ortom breaks away from Wike’s camp, backs Ayu as party chairman

Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has dismissed insinuations that he was in support of the removal of National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Iyorchia Ayu.

The governor stated this on Monday, September 27, while reacting to the allegations by Jemgbagh Development Association, Abuja that he was plotting the downfall of his fellow Benue man, Ayu.

The statement contradicted Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, and his allies, which he was a part of.

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Since the election of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar as the standard-bearer of the party in May, the group has insisted that Ayu must resign as a condition for supporting the PDP presidential candidate.

They claimed that power is more concentrated in the north and for them to throw their support behind Atiku, the PDP national chairman who is from the north must resign.

Amid the crisis, Walid Jubrin announced his resignation as the party’s Board of Trustee chairman and has been replaced by former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara.

However, in the statement issued by Ortom’s Chief Press Secretary, Nathaniel Ikyu, the Benue governor said he has confidence in Ayu’s ability to lead the party to victory in next year’s general election.

He said he worked tirelessly, alongside other prominent Benue citizens, to ensure that Ayu was elected “as the national chairman of our great party even against all odds”.

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“The governor could not, therefore, turn around to work against him to be removed from office,” the statement reads.

“Governor Ortom vouched for the integrity and capacity of Dr Iyorchia Ayu to lead and rebuild the PDP to victory and rescue Nigeria from the misrule of the APC maladministration. That is why Ayu was returned unopposed by the northern caucus of the party and got elected as the national chairman of the PDP at the party’s convention.

“Where was Jemgbagh Development Association, when Governor Ortom galvanised support from across the leaders of the party to make Dr. Ayu PDP’s National Chairman? What was their contribution to that project that they now want to use clannish stance to blackmail the governor?

“This amorphous and emergency Jemgbagh Development Association, Abuja, which has never been heard of before, is now masquerading as the voice of Jemgbagh to embark on campaign of calumny against Governor Ortom, who has worked selflessly for the people of Benue State.

“Governor Ortom is more Jemgbagh than most of the people claiming it now. This is fact, because he has done more for Jemgbagh, both in terms of appointments and projects executed as well as patronage in the area, than even one of the Jemgbagh sons, who was governor. Besides, Governor Ortom has consistently worked for the unity of Benue State and will never stand in the way of any of her citizens, either here in the state or in the diaspora.

“For those, who claimed to be leaders of this Jemgbagh Development Association, Abuja, we urge them to be truly developmental in their drive to build cohesion among the people and attract real development to their area rather than engaging in mischief or blackmail.”

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