The Chief Press Secretary to the governor of Benue State, Nathaniel Ikyur, has said Governor Samuel Ortom has no hand in the travail of the PDP national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu.
Newsonline reports that Nathaniel said the emergence of Ayu as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chairman would not have been possible without the support and mobilization of Benue PDP stakeholders by Ortom.
Nathaniel said this in reaction to a statement by Jemgbagh Development Association, Abuja Chapter, that Ortom has a hand in the call by Southern PDP stakeholders that Ayu must resign from his position as national chairman.
In a statement on Monday, Ortom through his CPS described as mischievous the allegation by the PDP group.
The statement read in part, “It is outright mischief for anyone, including the Jemgbagh Development Association, Abuja chapter to accuse Governor Samuel Ortom of having a hand in the current travails of the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu.”
He added, “It is an open secret that Governor Ortom worked tirelessly, alongside other prominent Benue citizens to ensure that Dr. Ayu gets elected as the national chairman of our great party even against all odds. He cannot therefore turn around to work against him to be removed from office.
“In the run-up to the National Convention, Governor Ortom got the backing of many leaders of the PDP who believed his sense of judgment when he 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 galvanized support from across the leaders of the party to make Dr. Ayu national chairman? What was their contribution into that project that they now want to use clannish stance to blackmail the Governor?” Nathaniel asked.
The statement continued, “It is therefore laughable how this amorphous and emergency Jemgbagh Development Association, Abuja who have 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.
“What is currently going on in our great party is the beauty in the evolution of democracy and has nothing to do with Governor Ortom working against the national chairman.
“For the avoidance of doubt, 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 son 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 claim 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.”
Newsonline reports that the governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom was among the camp of Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike who are calling for the resignation of Ayu and for a Southerner to occupy the position.
As of press time, both Ortom and Wike have traveled to the United Kingdom after Wike’s media chat on Friday.