APC relieved over Ortom’s exit, Oshiomole claims
Speaking to reporters at the National Secretariat of the party in Abuja, the former governor of Edo State claimed that the APC would have faced herculean task reclaiming Benue State in the forthcoming 2019 poll with Ortom as flag bearer of the party.
Oshiomhole, who claimed he had consulted widely with the elders of the party in Benue state, pointed at the biting level of poverty in the state due to the non-payment of salaries to civil servants, particularly teachers for up to twelve months, as reason why the APC elders in the state were uncomfortable giving him the ticket to seek a second term in office in the 2019 poll.
He recalled his interface with Ortom when news filtered in that he (Ortom) had been issued “a red” card by the party elders, saying the situation was further compounded by Ortom’s inability to execute any meaningful projects for the past three years with over N22 billion collected as proceeds from Paris club fund return and bailouts fund from the federal government.
Oshiomole, who reiterated his determination to weed out party members that do not share in the ideals of the party, said Ortom’s claim that he utilised the N22 billion to tackle the spate of insecurity in Benue State, couldn’t hold water.
“From the point of view of our leaders in Benue State, their position was clear that fielding Ortom on APC platform in 2019 can only lead to electoral defeat for a number of reasons.
They reminded us that, in spite of the allocation accruing to Benue State, the bailout fund amount to over N20 billion and the huge sums of money collected from the Paris club refund, he was not paying salaries to Benue workers, including teachers, local government employees and civil servants.”