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Gov. Ortom makes U-turn, Affirms APC stay

 By DaviD Odama

The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has recanted his earlier declaration suggesting that he has left the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He said he was still a member of the APC and was impressed with the intervention of the national leadership of the party.

The governor said that he was prepared to give the party the benefit of the doubt.

Ortom made his new position known while speaking to journalists after a closed-door meeting with the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, and other members of the APC National Working Committee, at the party National Secretariat, in Abuja, on Thursday.

He had earlier announced his decision to leave the party which he compared to a football pitch at a public function held in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, on Monday.

Ortom however announced a reversal of his decision after Thursday’s meeting. According to him, it was the Benue State chapter of the APC that gave him “a red card” but that the national leadership had nullified it.

The governor said, “It was the Benue APC that gave me a red card not the national APC and I took (it) that it was enough to make myself available out of the pitch, but the leadership of the party told me that the decision of the party leadership at the national level is superior to that of any individual or group of people and I think that is good enough.

“They have spoken to him (Senator George Akume); they have spoken to me and the state stakeholders are going to be spoken to and that’s where I belong. We have not concluded the matter, it’s an ongoing process. I always stand for peace, and I always want peace to prevail, that’s what I call for.

“I appreciate the intervention of the party’s leadership and I hope that we will be able to resolve the matter of differences. I am here in the APC. I am a member of the APC, I am still flying the flag of the APC, I only said I was given a red card but I have been corrected by the national secretariat.”

Also speaking at the event, Oshiomhole said the APC did not keep “red cards” in its cupboard and as such, it could not give what it did not have.

The APC national chairman admitted that there could be legitimate basis for disagreements in some state chapters of the party, which his administration was determined to look into in order to resolve them.

He explained that the issues in the Benue chapter of the party were not intractable to an extent that a solution could not be found.

Oshiomhole said, “Senator (George) Akume is a very respected leader of the party, a former governor and a current senator, he will recognise the need for peace and we have what it takes to make peace.

“In Benue, we are going for a win-win solution. Governor Ortom is not going anywhere, he is a very prominent member of our party, and we appreciate his leadership in Benue. We will do everything possible to help those who have issues to have those issues resolved.

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