Benue State Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said the All Progressives Congress, APC, is using the disagreement between Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike and the PDP National Chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu to distract Nigerians from its failures.
The Benue PDP in a statement signed by its Publicity Secretary, Bemgba Iortyom, said efforts by the state opposition party, APC, to drag Governor Ortom into the disagreement between Wike and Ayu would not get them near the victory they seek for in 2023 elections as they would be defeated roundly.
The press statement released by the party reads: “The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue State has observed the glee with which the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state has jumped into the issue of the misunderstanding between the Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency, Barr. Nyesom Wike, and National Chairman of our great party, His Excellency, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu.
“APC through numerous channels of its media management and some ot its stalwarts like Titus Zam, a former Aide to Governor Samuel Ortom, have sought to smear the Governor as taking sides with Governor Wike in the saga, and by so doing is being anti Tiv.
“Such excitement of APC in this purely internal matter of PDP is obviously motivated by the hope to wangle some temporary escapism from the cancerous serial failures of the opposition party which range from a calamitous reign of governance at the national level down to crass inability to conduct credible primary elections here in Benue State, following which the party has been left clutching at straws in a turbulent ocean of court cases.
“Yet, such hope evaporates before the light of history where PDP stands distinctly as a solid political institution, the most successful in Nigeria since independence, one weaned over the course of more than two decades from its foundation in 1998 and possessing of the requisite internal nous and stamina to weather the inevitable storms associated with high stakes politics which may occur every now and then.
“Be it made clear to APC and the public that the current saga involving Dr. Ayu and His Excellency, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on one hand, and Governors Wike and Ortom, on the other, is not inconsistent with the dynamics of party politics across the world.
“Since the conduct of the Presidential primaries of the PDP in Abuja in May, 2022, at which Alhaji Atiku Abubakar emerged winner, there have been series of efforts made at closing the divides which emerged from the exercise.
“Those efforts have been primarily to unify the homogenous family of our great party, the camp of Governor Nyesom Wike, who came second in that race and that of the winner, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
“Now, while we admit those efforts have been tenuous at some points and have attracted wide public attention, it is our position that their outcome will yet again as before, yield the result of healthier internal strength of our great party, as both the leadership and followership will doubtless transit to another level of cohesion and understanding.
“Our optimism in this regard draws from the well known history of PDP as having weathered the most tempestuous storms which came against her in the past, including the vicious assault launched against the party from 2016 to 2018 by the APC controlled ruling order which sought to proscribe our great party using the Ali Modu Sheriff saga.
“PDP is a watershed of democratic standards not just in Nigeria alone, but on the larger African continent, with a rich track-record highlighted by success in retiring the military from Nigeria’s political space, as well as achieving the distinction of power transition from one ruling order to another under peaceful conditions.
“The pedigree of PDP, therefore, cannot be tarnished by the opposition using a matter internal to the party such as it has periodically successfully handled whenever the need has arisen.
“That said, it is noteworthy to state that APC, by the blemished track-record of its leaders, lacks the moral locus to label Governor Samuel Ortom as anti Tiv, merely on account of his stand with Governor Nyesom Wike.
“As a party, APC, both at the federal and state levels, has been covertly and overtly linked with the mayhem of Fulani herdsmen atrocities against Benue farmers who have been killed in their thousands with millions displaced and living presently in camps for displaced persons across the state.
“APC’s Benue Leader, Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, as Governor of Benue State between 1999 and 2007, notoriously fell out with Engr. Barnabas Gemade, the man who near-single-handedly made him governor, one whom he (Akume) masterminded his removal from office as National Chairman of PDP.
“With Akume as Leader of Opposition under whom APC won power at the federal level, the party removed from office Dr. Paul Orhii as DG of NAFDAC and Dr. Roberts Orya as MD/CEO of NEXIM Bank; why didn’t he protect them if he is so pro-Tiv?
“Akume also has been in the forefront of trumpeting to the whole world that Fulani herdsmen are not responsible for killings in Benue, but that it is Benue people who are killing one another, a rhetoric he amplified before the international press, following the mass burial of 73 Benue people, among them women and children.
“Could there be anything more anti-Tiv and anti-Benue than such an unconscionable position by Senator Akume and the APC?
“How does a purely internal matter of PDP which is even situated outside of the context of local Benue politics, amount to anti-Tiv posture by Governor Ortom?
“This is a lame and myopic attempt by the APC as it continues groping about and clutching even at straws, being buffeted by the storms on the ocean of its serial failure in governance and internal administration.
“Regarding Titus Zam’s ridiculous outing, we are all familiar with why he has made Governor Ortom an object of his attacks.
“His anger and attacks on the person of the Governor are borne out of His Excellency’s refusal to bring him back to government in 2020.
“Recall that as soon as Zam got wind of the resignation of Reverend Emmanuel Aper as Chairman Benue State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, he sent an emissary to the Governor asking him to make him the next SUBEB Chairman.
“He pledged to switch his loyalty from Akume to the Governor and even promised to immediately decamp to PDP if he was appointed to head SUBEB.
“The Governor turned down his request and gave him reasons some of which bordered on incompetence and greed.
“Such a man lacks the locus to advise anyone.
“Benue people and the general public should take heed.”