Rumour of Ortom’s Plans to Move to PDP Heightens

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George Okoh in Makurdi

Reconciles with Suswam

The insinuation that the Benue State Governor, Mr. Samuel Ortom, is planning to dump the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday gained ground as the governor and his predecessor finally reconcile after several months of hostility.
The two have had a frosty relationship since 2015 when Ortom won the governorship election after defecting from the PDP.

However, recent development resulting from the Fulani herdsmen attack in which the governor felt slighted and abandoned by some bigwigs of the APC, the governor was alleged to have been making a subtle move to the PDP.

The state has also recently been a Mecca of visit by several past and present governors of the PDP, including Nyesome Wike of Rivers State and Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State which some PDP source disclosed was to convince Ortom to join the PDP.

 While fielding questions from journalists at the Government House in Makurdi yesterday, Ortom said he and Suswam  have decided to embrace peace and work together after a meeting which was held in Gboko, Tiv traditional headquarters, at the weekend at the instance of the Tor Tiv, Professor, James Ayatse.

 “The meeting was a peace meeting and it was convened at the instance of the Tor Tiv.
“The Tor Tiv told us that he noticed that the relationship between me and the former governor was not good, and advised us that as Tiv prominent sons, we should work together.

“He said whatever were our differences, we should sheath our sword and work together for the common good of the people of the state.”
The Tiv paramount ruler, according to Ortom attributed some problems bedeviling Benue today was as a result of lack of unity between the leaders of the state,” Ortom stated.

He said the Tor Tiv asked for synergies between them, and therefore urged them to harmonise their differences and work together for the interest of the state.
On insinuations that he was begging his predecessor for platform to contest the 2019 gubernatorial election, Ortom said there was nothing of such, stressing that such rumours are from some elements who have been benefitting from the crisis between him and Suswam.

He said there was no basis for him to beg as the sitting governor, adding that he has since put on hold all political activities until the 160,000 displaced people in the displaced people’s camps return to their ancestral homes.
On threats to his life as a result of his posture on the anti-open grazing law, the governor said he has heard about them and has since reported to the police for necessary action.