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Benue PDP Speaks On Gov. Ortom And ‘His Friends’ Defecting To APC

The Benue State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has denied reports in some quarters that Gov. Samuel Ortom and some other political big wigs in the state are ready to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC). Bemgba Iortyom, Benue PDP spokesperson in a statement on Friday, clarified rumours on the planned defection, […]

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The Benue State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has denied reports in some quarters that Gov. Samuel Ortom and some other political big wigs in the state are ready to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Bemgba Iortyom, Benue PDP spokesperson in a statement on Friday, clarified rumours on the planned defection, describing it as total falsehood.

The PDP spokesperson noted that some of the persons mentioned in the report making rounds on some news platforms are not even members of the PDP.

Iortyom accused those spreading the rumours of attempting to twist the truth to suit their own purpose.

According to him: “The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue State in Benue State read with rude shock a report in New Telegraph Newspaper of yesterday, Thursday, August 27, 2020, on page 9 in which its correspondent, Cephas Iorhemen, crafted a report about members of the party in the State recently decamping to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“The report captioned; “2023: Ominous signs as defection hits Benue PDP” claims sensationally that the likes of Chief Barnabas A Gemade Chief Mike Okibe Onoja, Hon. Herman Hembe Hembe Hon. Emmanuel Memga Udende and others are the defectors from our great party to the APC.

“Same report went further to claim that Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, is imminently on his way out of the PDP to join APC, even twisting the governor’s rebuttal of this rumour to suit the obvious purpose of the report.

“But “far is the truth from what he reported” (apologies Gov. Samuel Ortom), as none of those mentioned was a member of PDP at the time of their joining APC, and this the party recently made abundantly clear through several mediums publicly.

The PDP spokesperson went ahead to trace the political ‘exodus’ of the politicians claimed in the report to be defecting from the PDP to the APC.

Chief Gemade ran for re-election to the Senate in 2019 on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), losing to PDP’s Gabriel Suswam, and placing a distant third in the race. It was from SDP that he joined APC in his latest lap of habitual political migration.

Herman Hembe is a serving member of the House of Representatives, a seat he won in the 2019 elections on the platform of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), and it from there that he cross-carpeted to APC.

“Former House of Representatives member, Emmanuel Udende, whom New Telegraph wrongly addressed as “Another House of Representatives member..” isn’t a different case as he ran for the re-election to that seat in 2019 on the platform of APGA but lost woefully, and it was from that party he decamped to APC.

“In the case of Chief Mike Onoja who ran for the Benue-South Senate seat on the platform of SDP in 2019, the man in an official statement he personally signed and circulated to the social media denied decamping to APC. He emphatically stated that he remains in SDP and that, though he was aware some of aides had joined APC, he wasn’t part of their decamping and that the statements they made in the course of doing so were theirs and not on his behalf.

“It is, therefore, not for want of information that Cephas Iorhemen of New Telegraph chose to publish the report in issue standing truth on its head. Moreso considering that the New Telegraph correspondent is an indigene of Benue and as well resident and working here, he ordinarily should be abreast of such basic facts as he completely ignored in his report.

“It is preposterous and the height of illogic to assert that Governor Ortom is on his way out of PDP into APC, and this much the governor himself has expressed surprise at, querying why he would want to leave PDP where he has found stability and success back to APC where all he experienced was instability and imminent failure.

“To Cephas Iorhemen everyone of the decampees is a friend of Governor Samuel Ortom and their joining the APC automatically translates to the governor and his party, PDP, suffering abandonment.

“But if such logic of those decampees being Governor Ortom’s friends should be stretched further, it would then mean every political leader in any political party is as well the governor’s friend, as such their movement from one platform to another cannot be interpreted as weakening him or his party, the PDP.

“It is clear to see, even to Cephas Iorhemen of New Telegraph, that none of those decampees he listed in his fictitious report was a member of PDP at the time of their joining APC, yet we are aware that for pecuniary or other unwholesome considerations, some journalists wouldn’t turn down the opportunity to do a hatchet job.

“Moreover, when a journalist harbours partisan political bias as Cephas Iorhemen is known to have exhibited in the course of his work in the state so far, it doesn’t come as a surprise when such a one turns his pen into a gun to rob society of its right to factual reportage of events.

“Any journalist who could claim, as the New Telegraph correspondent did, that Chief Gemade decamped with 25,000 supporters at a village rally is not only engaging in pen robbery but also aspiring to the ‘Comedian of the Year’ award.”