George Okoh in Makurdi
Governor Samuel Ortom has stated that he left the All Progressives Congress (APC) because the party could not protect the interest of the people of Benue State.
He spoke at a meeting with stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from Oju and Obi Local Government Areas at the auditorium of the College of Education in Oju.
Ortom said he came to the conclusion after his cries for the arrest and prosecution of leaders of various Fulani groups, including Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore who threatened to invade the state and carried out the threat, fell on deaf ears.
He explained that after he signed the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Bill into law in May 2017, leaders of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore addressed several press conferences where they pledged to mobilise their kith and kin across the world to invade the state.
Ortom stated that his petitions to the relevant authourities to preempt the invasion were ignored just as his request for the arrest of those who claimed responsibility for the subsequent attacks and killings.
He said if the issue at stake was grazing alone, the establishment of ranches would have provided permanent peace between farmers and herders but that the real agenda was conquest and occupation.
According to Ortom leaders of the APC at the national level with their collaborators in the state have made him a target for elimination on account of the grazing law, which the people of Benue State have insisted should not be repealed.
He urged the people to give him a second chance in 2019 as the recession coupled with security challenges hindered him from delivering on most of his campaign promises, pointing out that the end of the matter is better than the beginning.
The governor noted however, that in spite of the challenges, he recorded several milestones which have been captured in a publication that was circulated at the meeting.