By Peter Duru, Makurdi
The gale of defections rocking the APC in Benue state have continued unabated with the Benue State Commissioner of Education, Science and Technology, Prof Dennis Ityavyar dumping the APC alongside 15,000 members of the party at Mbadede ward, in Ihugh, Vandeikya Local Government Area of the state to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Speaking during the defection exercise yesterday, Prof. Ityavyar said his decision to dump the APC was to enable him join forces with Governor Samuel Ortom who he said had stuck his neck in defense of Benue people.
Prof. Itavyar said “Governor Ortom deserves the total support of all Kunav sons and daughters and every Benue child especially now that it has become clear that the agenda of Fulani herdsmen is to kill and take over the Benue valley.
“I want to make it very clear to you and the Kunav people that he is facing several attacks and persecutions because he has decided to stand with you, he has refused to give away our ancestral land to Miyetti Allah and we owe him that duty of standing with him in our period of adversity,” Prof. Ityavyar said.
Among the defectors from Mbadede ward, considered the biggest in Benue North East, were APC stalwarts like Mr. Patrick Ikyor, Iorhuna Stephen, Fanen Lever, Elder Azua Nimbe, Iortimbir Avuve and several other prominent members of the party in the area.
Receiving the defectors, the PDP ward chairman, Hon Zwa assured them of equal opportunities in the party and sued for concerted efforts by all members to ensure victory for the PDP in the forthcoming general elections.
Earlier, the Speaker, Benue State House of Assembly, Mr. Titus Uba who also accompanied the commissioner to the defection ceremony assured the people that the state House of Assembly under his watch would always enact laws and make resolutions that would be beneficial to the Benue people.
Uba said, “today over 15,000 of you have dumped the APC for the PDP, lets take this farther by moving to mobilize more and more of our people into the PDP to galvanize support for Governor Ortom and other PDP candidates in the coming elections.”
He urged the people to support Governor Ortom to complete his two terms in office stressing that it had become necessary since he had shown the capacity to end the pogrom against the people of the state by armed militant herdsmen.