From Austine Tule, Makurdi
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state has said he did not betray his political associates as alluded to by Senator Barnabas Gemade.
Senator Gemade who represents Benue North East at the Senate on Monday defected to the Social Democratic Party (SDP), and was quoted to have cited gross betrayal on the part of governor Samuel Ortom as the main reason for his ditching the PDP.
Gemade and Ortom alongside five members of the National Assembly in August 2018, defected from the All Progressives Congress(APC) to the PDP over unresolved political differences.
But in his reaction, Governor Ortom whose reaction was contained in a press statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and ICT. Chief Tahav Agerzua, and made available to The Authority in Makurdi on Wednesday, described Gemade’s accusations as untrue and unfit of his status as a statesman saying, the governor lacked the capacity to handover the party’s ticket to any aspirant as alleged by the Senator.
“Our attention has been drawn to media reports credited to Senator Barnabas Gemade that he left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), for the Social Democratic Party (SDP), because Governor Samuel Ortom betrayed him.
“We believe that the Senator representing the Benue North East Senatorial District was misquoted.
It added that Governor Ortom does not betray people not to talk of someone of Senator Gemade’s personality and political stature.
“Let it be on record that Governor Ortom has immense respect for the person and political leadership role of the Senator and has done everything to accommodate and accord him his due respect.”
It stated that it should be noted that the Governor does not have the capacity to compel delegates of the PDP to vote for any aspirant before or during the scheduled primaries stressing the governor believes in persuasion and dialogue.
He added that even for his nomination for re-election, Governor Ortom has embarked on intensive consultation with PDP stakeholders across the state during which he presents his scorecard, while advancing reasons why he should be nominated.
“He appealed to other PDP aspirants to also consult with delegates and persuade them in similar manner.
“Yet as a Christian, the Governor believes that a man can receive nothing except it is given to him from above, since ultimate power belongs to God.
From the foregoing, there is no justification for anyone to claim that Governor Ortom has betrayed him or her.” the statement concluded.