Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has no plans to leave the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and return to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Terver Akase, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor made the position of his principal known in a statement on Thursday, November 19.
Akase issued the statement in reaction to claims that the governor planned to return to the APC which he left in 2018.
“We have read some mischievous statements by members of the opposition in Benue State insinuating that Governor Samuel Ortom plans to rejoin the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“Those involved in the impish allegation are clearly doing so to soothe their stuck-up apprehensions. Why will Governor Ortom return to APC? To do what?” the governor’s aide questioned.
He added, “It is true that the governor was contacted by some notable persons to defect from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but he declined the invitation.”
Akase noted that following his exit from the APC, Governor Ortom became the leader of PDP in the north-central region of the country.
According to him, he is enjoying a robust relationship with other leaders of the party in Benue and the entire region.
Governor Ortom’s aide stressed that it was ridiculous for anyone to insinuate that the governor has the intention to leave the PDP.
“We advise young men who have been peddling the hang-about rumour to take advantage of the numerous entrepreneurial opportunities the Ortom administration has created through its collaboration with the Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture, and other financial institutions to engage in rewarding ventures and shun falsehood,” he said.
This comes against the backdrop of the defection of Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, from the PDP to the APC.
Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, stated that his Ebonyi State counterpart was one of the governors he said the APC was expecting to welcome into its fold.
He insisted that Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and eight other PDP governors would also move to the APC.
APC Governors Donate N50m To Victims Of Zamfara Market Fire Incident
The Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum and Kebbi State Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu has led a high powered delegation to Zamfara to commiserate with the government and people of the state over the recent fire outbreak that engulfed parts of Tudun Wada market Gusau.
The APC Governors Forum Chairman was accompanied by the governor of Yobe State and the Chairman of All Progressives Congress APC Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee Mai-Mala Buni and Governor Muhammad Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State.
He said the Sad incident that happened at Tudun Wada Market Gusau affected the livelihood of the victims and business activities in the state which they found necessary to show their concern and sympathy to the victims.
He commended and acknowledged the efforts of Governor Matawalle in ensuring the return of peace in the state and announced a donation of N50 million to the victims, calling on the general public to be more careful to prevent a recurrence.
Responding, Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle commended the three governors for undertaking a long journey just to express their love and brotherliness to the government and people of Zamfara state despite being from another political party.
2023 Presidency: Kogi Speaker Canvases Legislators’ Support For Yahaya Bello
The Speaker, Kogi State House of Assembly, Mathew Kolawole, has solicited the support of legislators across the country for Governor. Yahaya Bello’s ambition to become the President of Nigeria in 2023.
Mr Kolawole stated this in Jos during a visit to the Speaker of the Plateau House of Assembly, Abok Ayuba, and his colleagues to solicit for their support for Bello’s ambition.
He was accompanied on the visit by his Deputy, Ahmed Mohammed, and other Kogi lawmakers.
“Our mission in Plateau is to congratulate the Speaker, Plateau House of Assembly, Abok Ayuba on his election as the Chair of North-Central zone of Speakers Conference of Nigeria.
“We are also here to brief him and canvass support for his Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, the Governor of Kogi State, who is the youngest governor in Nigeria to run for president come 2023.
“In view of our relationship with our governor, as legislators, we have articulated all his achievements in the areas of security, women empowerment, youth inclusion in government, education and infrastructure development.
“We have found him to be suitable as he has performed creditably well.
“On this note, we decided on our own, to pass a vote of confidence on him and at the same time, pass a resolution that we want him to contest for the position of the President of Nigeria.
“The youths of Nigeria are also putting pressure on him to contest for the position of the President of Nigeria and he has finally agreed,” he said.
According to him, they brought the message to Plateau Assembly being one of the states that is controlled by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The speaker said they believed in the association of legislators in Nigeria which had about 998 members with over 600 of them being members of APC and automatic delegates of the party.
In his remarks, Mr Ayuba said that the Plateau lawmakers would support Mr Bello if he set an example by granting Kogi State House of Assembly autonomy.
He said that autonomy was one of the key things that the Speakers Conference of Nigeria had been fighting for its implementation.
“As a young person, he should act differently and implement the autonomy so that others will follow.
“Sincerely, the north-central should be included in the calculations of this country as it is most times left out.
“We will tell them that we form one of the largest populations in the country and we should be considered this time,” he said.
He assured the Kogi speaker that he would convey his message to the state lawmakers when they resumed from recess on Jan. 20.
Mr Ayuba further stated that Plateau would join hands with Kogi to get what rightly belongs to the north-central.
South West Speakers Endorse Bola Tinubu For 2023 Presidency
Incumbent and former Houses of Assembly speakers across the South West geopolitical zone have endorsed the 2023 presidential aspiration of former governor of Lagos State, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in 2023.
Rising from a meeting in Ibadan, Oyo State, the Lagos Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, formally introduced the Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT) Foundation and Movement to the gathering.
The speakers, who were up to 20, at a meeting in Ibadan, agreed on some far-reaching resolutions to actualise Tinubu’s presidential aspiration.
Obasa, who convened the meeting, said the BAT Foundation was meant to break the shackles of poverty in Nigeria and create a coordinated humanitarian image for the national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
He claimed that though Tinubu had not given the nod to their plan, “there is need to deliberate on this all-important issue on behalf of Tinubu.”
Obasa added: “All current and former speakers present should, after the meeting, go back to their respective states to set up the template that would see to the actualisation of the agenda of an Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu presidency come 2023.
“An address by Ambassador Aliyu Saulawa, national coordinator of BAT Movement, was emphatic in the movement’s readiness to ensure power shifts to the South West and to be clinched by Tinubu.”
He lauded Tinubu’s option of embracing principle by supporting President Muhammadu Buhari rather than former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who would have done anything for Tinubu to win his support.”
Other issues resolved at the meeting include the need for power to shift to the South and that the South West must produce the next president and that Tinubu, being a Yoruba man with the capacity, experience, competence and means should be the candidate to be supported to emerge as the next president of Nigeria.
The speakers also resolved that Tinubu still needed to do more networking in Yoruba land, especially among serving and past governors, so that voices of dissent could be reduced to the barest minimum.
Stakeholders present at the meeting were asked to go back home and start the Asiwaju Tinubu presidential project pending when he (Tinubu) would come out to agree to contest.
All the speakers present were charged to commence beneficial political interaction with traditional rulers across the South West on the issue.