By Peter Duru, Makurdi
The Benue state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has passed a vote-of-confidence on Governor Samuel Ortom and kicked against the decision of the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party to refer him to its Disciplinary Committee over alleged anti-party activities.
The state chapter of the party urged its National headquarters to dedicate energy to ensure the rebounding and repositioning of the party as well as reconciling members rather than hunting dedicated and loyal members of the party.
The party in a statement issued Friday in Makurdi by the State Publicity Secretary, Bemgba Iortyom, said it viewed with grave concern Thursday’s decision of the NWC on Governor Ortom.
The statement read in part, “Benue PDP finds it difficult to understand the rationale by which anti-party activities are determined at the National Secretariat by the NWC such as sees one out of the G-5 Governors singled out for punitive action on the ground of that offence, and what the procedure is for meting out punitive measures against such anti-party activities where some persons including Professor Dennis Ityavyar having been suspended without facing any disciplinary Committee.
“The party feels strongly that in fulfilling its duty as a state chapter it must remind the NWC of the implications of its current action against Governor Ortom and others.
“Firstly, the action runs in contempt of a subsisting court injunction restraining PDP at all levels from taking any punitive action against the Benue State Governor pending the determination of a substantive suit which is lying before a court of competent jurisdiction on the matter.
“Secondly, going by the mood within PDP ranks in Benue, it is the expectation that the emphasis now will be on mending bonds of unity and internal cohesion which were badly damaged in the build-up to and during the 2023 elections leading to the huge losses recorded by the party at the polls against an evidently weaker opposition.
“Never in the entire history of PDP has the party fared so badly at an election in Benue State as witnessed in 2023, ironically at a time its National Chairman is from the state.
“PDP in Benue sees this latest action of the NWC against Governor Ortom as ill-timed, considering that evidence on ground point rather to the governor’s steadfastness in loyalty and love for PDP since his rejoining the party in 2018.
“Evidences of Governor Ortom’s loyalty and commitment to the growth and wellbeing of PDP in Benue are manifold as can be easily verified to include;
“A solid performance track record in the governance of the state since rejoining PDP in 2018 with landmark achievements in security, roads infrastructure, education, healthcare delivery, agriculture, commerce and industry, socio-cultural orientation upon which our great party derives credibility and solid standing before the people of Benue State.
“Stability in consensus building within party ranks through regular interactive meetings between the leadership and followership at all levels of the party in the state.
“Regular support for party activities as required and permitted under law such as saw PDP coast home comfortably to victory at the 2019 elections winning the governorship and a majority of the national and state assemblies seats in the state.
“And total sponsorship of the party’s campaigns and electioneering efforts at the 2023 polls from the state down to the polling units without support from any quarters, and being able to produce a Senator, a House of Representatives member and 10 State Assembly members, this in the face of heavy militarisation of the Benue election environment by federal authorities under the control of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“The above enumerated and more have placed Governor Samuel Ortom on a platform of high esteem and honour in PDP, such as qualifies him for accolades, and not the dishonour that the NWC’s action represents on the governor.
“It is, therefore, a motion of the Benue PDP SWC that a Vote-of-Confidence be passed on Governor Samuel Ortom for his steadfast loyalty and selfless, sacrificial leadership to our great party, PDP.
“We equally call on the NWC to explore exhaustively options towards fostering reconciliation, unity, re-branding and repositioning of the party to recover its lost glory.”
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