Benue PDP Yet to Recover From Last Elections — Ortom



Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom has said that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state is yet to recover from the trauma of defeat in last April’s poll.

Ortom was reacting to claims in the media by the PDP Chairman in Benue, Dr. Emmanuel Agbo, that the governor was still a member of the PDP. In a statement signed by his adviser on media, Tahav Agerzua, Ortom wondered how Agbo has forgotten that the Federal High Court in Makurdi had dismissed their case, which had sought to establish the erroneous claim.

He also reminded Dr. Agbo that before the court decision, Ortom had resigned from the PDP on 9th December, 2015 and handed over his resignation letter to the PDP ward chairman in Nzorov Council ward of Guma Local Government Area, Felix Agbaka.

“How could Agbo forget that the people of the state came out last April with a unanimous determination to throw off the yoke of a party that brought them untold hardship and bad governance, that led to the collapse of all government institutions in the state?

How could he forget so soon that the electorate was so incensed against the PDP that the All Progressives Congress (APC), did need to rig anywhere but just to protect the votes of its candidates?”

The governor maintained that it was the PDP that engaged in massive rigging in many parts of the state, even as he said such claims would beats one’s imagination that someone could be talking about constitutional provisions and yet forget or gloss over one of the most fundamental which is the freedom of association. Meanwhile, Ortom has pledged to intensify dialogue to resolve the protracted crisis between Benue farmers and Fulani herdsmen.

He disclosed this yesterday while playing host to the leadership of Miyyetti Allah Cattle Rearers Association of Nigeria, which paid him a courtesy call at the Banquet Hall of Benue Peoples House, in Makurdi. He assured that his administration is not for eye service but to ensure that peace prevails in the state.

The governor further stressed that even as he was personally affected by the crisis, he would not procure and supply arms to his people to retaliate the loss suffered, but rather seeks lasting solution by promoting dialogue between the parties. “

As a long term measure, I think establishment of ranches remain the best option to permanently tackle the challenge as it is done worldwide. The use of cattle routes is no more feasible as such routes have become settlement villages due to population expansion.

In the interim, farmers and herders must acknowledge and respect the rights of each other and promote peaceful coexistence while seeking redress for wrongs through legal means,” Ortom noted.

He noted that he had identified criminals within the two groups as promoters of the conflict and had met with the Inspector General of Police for assistance to fish them out; adding that after his separate meetings with the Tiv and Idoma Traditional councils, he would convene a meeting with cattle breeders to further deliberate on the matter.

Ortom also said he had set in motion a machinery to dialogue with those, who possess illegal arms in the state and given them three months to surrender their weapons or face the wrath of the law enforcement agencies.

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