2023: Ortom Fires Back At APC Over Billboard Destruction
The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has alleged that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is responsible for the destruction of billboards belonging to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
The governor claimed that the APC was behind sending sponsored thugs to bring down billboards of PDP candidates in the state including his own.
The governor, who vowed to bring the perpetrators to book alleged that the APC governorship candidate in the state Hyacinth Alia and his supporters are responsible for the destruction of the PDP campaign materials.
Naija News reported on Saturday that rival political parties have been fingered over the destruction of campaign billboards of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue State.
It was learned that thugs launched an attack on the PDP campaign materials with several billboards pulled down in parts of the Gboko Local Government Area of the State.
However, the Benue State APC in a swift reaction accused Ortom’s loyalists of being responsible for the attacks on the said PDP billboards.
The APC alleged that it was part of plans targeted at destroying the presidential ambition of the PDP presidential flagbearer, Atiku Abubakar.
Meanwhile, in a counter-reaction, Ortom warned against violent campaigns in the state, noting that the PDP in the state is a united and formidable family.
Ortom, in a statement on Sunday signed by his spokesperson, Terver Akase, alleged that the APC has resorted to falsehood and mischief because they know the party has no hope in the state.
He advanced that “We read a statement by the Benue State Chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC in which the party accused Governor Samuel Ortom of using thugs to destroy billboards of the Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in parts of the state.
“The APC alleged that “factions” within PDP were responsible for the destruction of the campaign materials.
“The said statement is a clear indication that APC, having lost hope of winning the 2023 election in Benue State has resorted to falsehood and mischief so as to divert attention from the wide popularity and acceptability the PDP has gained as evident in the ongoing statewide campaigns of the party.
“If any political party is to speak about internal democracy and harmony, such a party is surely not the Benue State chapter of APC. A party which failed to conduct just one transparent and credible primary election and is now engulfed in crisis culminating in a plethora of court cases and rejection of its candidates by a large number of its supporters lacks the moral authority to counsel anyone on peaceful electioneering.
“The PDP in Benue State is a united and formidable family whose candidates have a clear edge over their opponents and could therefore not have turned round to destroy its own publicity materials. It must be emphasized that there is nothing like Ortom and Atiku factions in PDP. The party is one and has no sects in its fold in the state.
“Acts of violence are not associated with the PDP. Leader of the party in Benue State, Governor Samuel Ortom encourages members to uphold the tenets of healthy competition and campaign of issues at all times.
“The Governor believes that politics offers participants the opportunity to market themselves and their platforms, but should not be a cut-throat affair.
“The insinuation that Governor Ortom used thugs to pull down billboards of the PDP presidential candidate is a blatant lie manufactured by APC to cause disaffection within PDP. The Governor has over the years built an enviable reputation as a peace-loving leader and has never used thugs to win elections.
“The Governor does not have any personal problem with Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, contrary to the claim by the opposition. The stand of Governor Ortom and his colleagues in the G-5 regarding the handling of the crisis within the PDP at the national level has been for justice, equity and fairness within the party, but not the pursuit of personal interests.
“The APC in Benue State certainly has a hand in the unfortunate destruction of PDP campaign billboards in parts of the state and only they can explain to security agencies the motive behind the dastardly act. Those responsible for the anti-democracy conduct will surely be brought before the law.”