An aide to Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has said his principal cannot afford to lose the friendship he has with his Rivers state counterpart, Nyesom Wike.
He was reacting to accusations by a group, Jemgbagh Development Association, that he was involved in the ouster moves against the PDP national chairman, a fellow Benue man.
But in another statement, Ortom refuted reports that he has abandoned the Wike camp, which has been demanding Ayu’s resignation for weeks, adding that his position is clear on the PDP crisis.
Speaking with The PUNCH on Sunday, Ortom’s aide who spoke on condition of anonymity, said his principal and Wike share a deep relationship to the extent that he can lose Ayu for the Rivers governor.
He said the strong bond between Wike and the Benue governor cannot be compared with that of Ayu, adding that his principal and the embattled PDP chairman have never been the best of allies.
He said: “Ortom will prefer to lose Ayu to losing Wike. Ortom and Ayu have never been the best of allies. They have never had any strong bond compared with Wike and Ortom.”
The aide said Ortom played a major role in the emergence of Ayu as the PDP chairman because some governors and party chieftains agreed to the move.
“Even the support for Ayu to be chairman came after some governors and big wigs became receptive to the ambition.
“Ortom seized the opportunity to spearhead the ambition and act as the one who would sell him to his colleagues. He wasn’t on board with the idea at first. He and ex-governor Gabriel Suswam were not on it,” he explained.