Samuel Ortom

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, Saturday accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and its National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole of trying to throw the state into political crisis ahead of the 2019 elections.

Ortom, who said this in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, expressed shock that a few days after his defection from the APC, Oshiomhole, who had commended him days before, made a quick turnaround to launch verbal attacks against him.

Ortom’s statement is coming on the heels of warning issued Oshiomhole by the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to get ready to face the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) immediately his party loses next year’s election.

The PDP in a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said Oshiomhole was gallivanting about now because he was being shielded from prosecution over corruption charges by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Displeased with Oshiomhole’s sudden aggression towards him, Ortom said his latest disposition has revealed among other things, the true oppressive intentions of the ruling party APC against Nigerians.

“Oshiomhole appears to be flying a kite of an agenda to intimidate and suppress Nigerians, who desire freedom from a party which has clearly failed to secure lives and property, thereby ushering in an orgy of violence never before witnessed in the history of the country.

“Adams Oshiomhole’s diatribe against Governor Ortom has also revealed the plot hatched by APC leaders within and outside Benue to throw the state into political crisis ahead of the 2019 elections,” he said.

Ortom, who was responding to Oshiomhole’s statement that he was complicit in the killing of two Catholic priests in Benue State, noted that the conclusion he could draw was that investigations into the matter have been compromised.

The Governor noted that Oshiomhole was privy to the ongoing investigation of the suspects arrested in connection with the murder of two Catholic priests and 17 worshipers at Mbalom, Gwer East local government area of Benue State, noting that, “With his jumping into conclusion that the suspects were sponsored by the Governor, our suspicion is that either the investigation into the matter has been compromised or the APC National Chairman is influencing it.

“Benue people know who their killers are, and the attackers are believed to be sponsored by Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore and other Miyetti Allah groups. We advise the APC National Chairman to stop his shameful dance on the graves of innocent Benue children, pregnant women and others slaughtered by armed herdsmen,” he said.

On the issue of security votes, he said, “We wonder what Oshiomhole hoped to achieve with such an accusation? Governor Ortom has not done anything outside the laid down procedures in addressing security challenges by a state governor. As a former governor, Comrade Oshiomhole should know this better.”

Addressing what it thought might be the fate of Oshiomhole after the 2019 elections, the PDP said the APC national chairman should have been under prosecution by the EFCC over huge allegations of pillaging the scarce resources of Edo State but for the cover provided for him by the President Buhari-led administration.

Asking Oshiomhole to stop acting like an attack dog, the PDP noted with dismay that since assuming office as chairman of APC, Oshiomhole had abandoned the path of wisdom expected of him and had become noisy, loquacious, rapacious and completely immodest in all his actions and utterances.

“Oshiomhole should be reminded that but for the cover provided for him by President Buhari, he would have been under prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over huge allegations of pillaging the scarce resources of Edo State, where he also trampled upon the citizens, including poor widows, when he was governor.

“However, with the collapse of the APC and its inevitable defeat in 2019, Oshiomhole by now knows that his presidential cover will soon be over and that he will surely face the full weight of the law.”

The PDP said Nigerians had found a new laughing stock in Oshiomhole, who appears to have completely lost all bearings in his quest to compete for media space with aides of the President and by so doing, throwing decorum to the dogs.

“If Oshiomhole had limited his childish abuses to President Muhammadu Buhari, whom he dismissed as indolent, ineffectual and condoning indiscipline; or to the ministers of their incompetent government, whom he wholesomely described as dishonourable; the governors left in his faction, whom he said are undeserving of return tickets in 2019; and members of his faction, who he had rendered directionless, the PDP would have ignored his attention seeking antics,” the statement stated.

PDP therefore asked leaders of the APC to regulate Oshiomhole’s utterances before he derails the nation’s democracy.

“While the PDP has nothing but pity for Oshiomhole, who is fast turning himself into President Buhari’s court jester, our party will henceforth not watch and allow him continue to make irresponsible, mundane and unsubstantiated allegations of corruption, murder or mutiny against any member of the PDP or any notable Nigerians, unchallenged,” it said.