By George Okoh in Makurdi
Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom on Monday said the All Progressives Party, the platform on which he was elected, had given him a red card, adding that he is currently a freeman and waiting for any party that would admit him into its fold.
“As for party, I have been given red card and I’m outside the pitch. So, if I have been given red card and I’m standing outside, I’m a free man.
“So I don’t know what will happen next but I’m waiting. If one approach me, then I will tell the Benue people that I’m joining another football club. I’m a child of destiny and it’s only God that will decide what I will be,” Governor Ortom said during the inauguration of Special Adviser on Bureau of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Jerome Torshimbe in Makurdi Monday.
The governorâ€™s statement is not unconnected with speculations that the APC in the state had dumped him following the political crisis between him and Senator George Akume, the leader of the party in the state.
The party is also said to favour the governorship aspiration of Barrister Emmanuel Jime, who lost to Ortom in 2015, and it may have resolved not to give Ortom the governorship ticket in next yearâ€™s election.
The governor said: â€œMany people have been asking that as we dedicated the state to God we are still facing challenges. The Israelites passed through the wilderness, where there were giants, wild animals and other things that were harmful, but God took them to the promised land.â€
Speaking further, he said, “All these challenges that we see today, we shall see them no more. All that we are required to do is not to begin to be wayward in our conduct but to move to the righteous side of God. Once we do that, things will work out for our good.
“Looking at what is happening to us, sometimes I am tempted to think that we are dying like people who do not have God.
“But we must choose the path of working with God, obeying and serving him. If we do that and ensure that his values get into our hearts and we work with him, development will be inevitable. Let us work and encourage those things that can develop us.
“We need to come together, let party or ethnicity not divide us.â€