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Benue: No cause for alarm; PDP cannot unseat me– Ortom boasts

Written By Idoma Television on Monday, June 29, 2015 | 12:57:00 AM

The leadership of the All Progressives Congress in Benue State has called on the general public to disregard the ongoing claims of anxiety over Governor Samuel Ortom’s seat.
The party said there was no iota of truth in the romour, adding that the planted reports were fabrications of mischief makers.

The National Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Dr. Muiz Banire had in an interview with newsmen revealed that the APC might lose the Benue governorship seat to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the controversy trailing the issue of lawful governorship candidate of the ruling party in the state, if necessary intervention was not timely taken.

Reacting to the claim in a statement issued Sunday night by Tahav Agerzua, Special Adviser to the governor on Media and ICT, the ruling party asked the general public to disregard the rumour, saying that the story was sponsored by some mischievous persons.

The statement noted that “In this instance, they claim to be quoting a letter from the All Progressives Congress, APC, National Legal Adviser but on close scrutiny the contents neither justify nor support the claims of the authors who obviously seek to drum untenable support for a particular governorship aspirant of the party in Benue State.

“It is most unfortunate that the man whose justice they wish to secure on the pages of newspapers, claimed to have emerged as the consensus governorship candidate of the party on 11th January, 2015, long after nominations had closed for that office and Samuel Ortom’s name had been submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
“By this time, it had to take Ortom’s voluntary withdrawal, death, or court order to substitute his name.
“None of the three happened and Ortom went into election as the APC governorship candidate and won convincingly.
“A twist to the claim emerged at the Federal High Court in Abuja when two of the aspirants said to have supported the consensus candidature alleged that their signatures had been forged.
“This claim was not disputed to the best of my knowledge and remains the subject of further discussion another day.

“For today, the writers out of touch with happenings in Benue State still claim that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was challenging Ortom’s election on the ground that he was not validly nominated when in fact that case had been dismissed by the Makurdi Federal High Court.
“The matter before the election tribunal against Ortom’s election is a solo action of the PDP governorship candidate without the support of his party whose suit in any case, had collapsed like a pack of cards.

“Curious enough Ortom was not joined as a party in the case challenging his nomination before the Abuja Federal High Court which has to rule on whether he could be joined or not now that he has immunity as governor.

“The claim in the reports that the APC National Working Committee has been meeting over the Benue governorship ticket is false as the national secretariat of the party had never notified Governor Ortom of such meetings in which his fate had to be discussed.

“From the foregoing, it amounts to standing logic on its head and proceeding from there to build castles in the air for any one to have any forlorn hope that the Jime governorship project would ever fly or that the PDP would reenter the Benue Government House in 2015 through the back door.
“Chief Dr Ortom’s nomination in the APC was validly concluded in accordance with the party’s constitution and guidelines in compliance with the Electoral Act.

“The APC had amended its constitution last October to make provision for new entrants to contest for positions on the party’s platform within one day of their entry and for affirmation to be made in case of consensus candidates where primaries are impracticable.

“Yes, there are court cases with regard to Chief Dr Ortom’s nomination but his lawyers have a rock solid defence.
“There is therefore, no basis whatsoever for anxiety over anyone taking over Governor Ortom’s seat.”
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