Atiku vs Ortom: Benue Govt Speaks On Rift In PDP
The Benue State government has dismissed reports of a faction in the state’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In a statement issued Sunday in Makurdi the Special Adviser to the Benue State Governor on Media and Publicity, Terver Akase said Benue state is united and there is nothing like Samuel Ortom and Atiku Abubakar factions in the party.
Akase made the clarification while responding to an allegation by the APC which accused Governor Ortom of sponsoring the destruction of PDP billboards in Gboko.
According to Ortom’s aide, Governor Ortom does not have any personal problem with the Presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku.
He said, “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 PDP 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 the 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.”
Akase stated that Ortom believes that politics offers participants the opportunity to market themselves and their platforms, but should not be a cut-throat affair.
He submitted that 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,” he added.