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National Chairman, APC, Adams Oshiomhole (left); Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom after a meeting between the governor and leaders of the party in Abuja yesterday… Photo Lucy Ladidi Elukpo

• Chieftains deny issuing red card to Benue gov
• Accusers are part of grand conspiracy to demonise him, says aide

The Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday met with Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom behind closed-doors to avert his planned defect from the party.

Ortom, who spoke with reporters at the end of the parley, which lasted for about two hours, said he might have a rethink over his plan to defect to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He said: “We have not concluded the matter, it is an ongoing process because I have always stood for peace and I always want peace to prevail. I appreciate the intervention and I hope that we would be able to resolve the matter of differences and this is the funny thing about politics.

“I am here in APC and a member of APC. I am still flying the flag of APC and I only said I was giving red card that I’ve been corrected by the national secretariat of the party.”

But Oshiomhole, who promised to resolve the crises among chieftains of the party in Benue State, expressed optimism that Ortom would heed to his counsel to remain in the APC fold.

Meanwhile, the Benue State chapter of the APC has denied giving red card to Ortom or any other member contrary to a statement credited to the governor alleging that the APC issued him a red card and is outside the pitch.

The state chapter of the party in a statement signed by its Director of Publicity, Mr. Peterhot Apeh, and made available to newsmen yesterday in Makurdi, stated: “We wish to state categorically that the Benue State chapter of the APC has not at any point given a red card to Governor Samuel Ortom or any other member of the party.

‘’Rather, the party at its last state congress in Makurdi endorsed the governor and leader of the party in the state, Senator George Akume for another term in office.”

But in a sharp reaction, the Press Secretary to Governor Ortom, Mr. Terver Akase, said those accusing his boss of several shortcomings were part of the grand conspiracy between some politicians in Benue State with their collaborators in Abuja, noting that such have already been uncovered and exposed.

Akase, who further alerted the people of the state and other Nigerians of plans by some persons to launch smear campaigns against Ortom on various conventional and social media platforms, however, said: “Though the giants may be on their way to hinder, God will surely give us victory.”

A member of the House of Representatives, Hussain Kangiwa, representing Arewa and Dandi Federal Constituency of Kebbi State, has condemned the Reformed-All Progressives Congress (R-APC) members, saying they are enemies of this country who do not have the interest of the masses at heart.



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