Resignation: We didn’t push Ortom out, APC reacts
By Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA – The All Progressives Congress APC has reacted to reports that the Benue state Governor, Dr Samuel Ortom has left its ranks, saying it has not received a formal communication to that effect.
Speaking Monday in Abuja shortly after a meeting of its National Working Committee NWC, APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole said the governor had on several occasions promised that he would not leave the ruling party except he was pushed out.
APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole addressing pressmen on Ekiti State Election while Deputy National South , Otunba Niyi Adebayo at the Party Secretariat in Abuja. Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan.
“I know that Gov. Ortom is a very senior member of the party and he has said so repeatedly in print and has said to me one on one that he will not leave the APC unless he was pushed out. I have, since I assumed chairmanship of this party along with my colleagues in the NWC, and I know for a fact that we have not shut out any governor and certainly not Gov. Ortom. And in these days of social media, I will not be responding on the basis of rumours and unverified reports. In fact, talking about unconfirmed sources, on Saturday, I was in Lagos to honour an appointment that had been booked for over the past six months and I felt obliged to honour that appointment and yet some of these merchants of untruth and fabricators of fake news posted all sorts of stories”, he said.
The governor had on Monday reportedly announced his decision to quit the party, saying; “As for party, I have been given red card and I’m outside the pitch. So, if I have been given red card and I’m standing outside, I’m a free man.
“So I don’t know what will happen next but I’m waiting. If others approach me, then I will tell the Benue people that I’m joining another football club. I’m a child of destiny and it’s only God that will decide what I will be”.
Direct Primaries for Osun
“Just as we are celebrating Ekiti, we have commenced the process of organising the primary election in Osun State. We have gone through the screening exercise of the 17 aspirants who obtained nomination forms and have been cleared to contest the primary. We are impressed that the 17 of them are competent enough to effectively govern the state and that we do not lack competent hands to provide leadership in Osun State after the exit of Rauf Aregbesola.
“We have decided that in order to ensure popular participation, and to deepen democracy in Osun State, in line with the provisions of our party constitution which allow for either direct or indirect primary, we have resolved that the governorship election primary in Osun state will be conducted on the basis of direct primary. What that means is that every card-carrying member of our party will participate in the process of nominating the flag bearer of the party. This for us, is the most democratic way to conduct elections and is in line with what our critical stakeholders from that part of the country want and we are quite happy to oblige. The whole idea of that is that the more we allow our party members to participate in the process of nominating candidates, we will remove the issue of corruption or monetizing the processes of nominating aging candidates, in addition to the fact that party members will have a sense of ownership of the outcome of the exercise. We have also decided to nominate a panel that will be chaired by the Governor of Zamfara state who is also the chairman of the governors forum. We have no doubt that no one can compromise him and will approach this exercise in line with the spirit and letters of our constitution. He will be assisted by four others who will work with (him to ensure that this direct primary is conducted hitch free and the outcome lay a foundation for popular mobilization of the Osun electorates.
“Our slogan is change, but we have not changed from bad to worse. We have only changed from a situation where only few delegates determine who flies the flag of the party, to one in which all party members have a say and can participate actively. Our democracy has to grow and our constitution allows for this process and I am proud that the people of Osun state are ready to go the whole hog of allowing party members rather than allowing party caucus to determine who flies our flag. I think that is more democratic.
“We see in America how party leaders go from one state to another as voting goes on even before they come back to the proper election and I think the beauty in that is those members have a sense of ownership of that person and therefore we have a duty to mobilize for that person so that he wins. We are not deterred by a particular approach but we are doing this in line with the wishes of the real stakeholders in Osun state as we know them”.
Why we’re happy with outcome of Ekiti polls
“We are particularly excited not because we won, but like we said the last time, what matter to us is the process rather than the outcome. We just want to make sure that the results of elections reflect the will of the people. You will also recall the there were issues about police deployment. I am very happy that all the commentators and observes including the European Union EU are happy that the election was free of violence and that the process was free and fair.
“We cannot ask for more. We celebrate not just the fact that we won, we celebrate that under President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, we now can see that elections can be conducted without people being hospitalized or some finding their way to the grave because they have been killed in the process. We are very proud of this accomplishment”.
Tasks Service Chiefs on Sokoto Killings
“We have also deliberated on the unfortunate incident that occurred in Sokoto state last week in which a number of innocent Nigerians were killed in cold blood by gunmen. We are worried about this and our preliminary investigations showed that those affected come from a part of the state that can be said to be quite rural and probably a place where people don’t even have cattle. All they have is just their farm land. This killings, like other killings across the country is condemnable and the NWC condemns them in the strongest words possible. We believe that every Nigerian, regardless of his location has a right to life. We admit that the minimum obligation of government is to protect lives and property and we urge our security chiefs to do everything possible not only to arrest all those involved in this senseless killings, but to do everything possible to be seen to have the competence to protect lives and property. No one will be satisfied with making explanations or trying to explain away why we cannot secure human lives especially of a Nigerian citizen within the borders of Nigeria.Related