The leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has moved to prevent Samuel Ortom, Governor of Benue State, from leaving the party.
On Monday, Ortom announced his departure from the APC, saying he had been red-carded out of the ruling party and was now standing outside the football pitch “as a free man”.
“As for party, I have been given red card and I’m outside the pitch. So, if I have been given red card and I’m standing outside, I’m a free man,” he said.
“So I don’t know what will happen next but I’m waiting. If others approach me, then I will tell the Benue people that I’m joining another football club. I’m a child of destiny and it’s only God that will decide what I will be.”
It has now emerged that Lawal Shu’aibu, Deputy National Chairman (North) of the APC, reached out to Ortom as well as George Akume, a former Benue Governor — the two men involved in the tussle for the state leadership of the party — for an “urgent meeting” in Abuja.
Earlier on Monday, Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of the party, had refused to accept that Ortom had indeed left the party, saying it was all “rumours”.
“This party will not comment on the basis of rumours and I am sure eventually we will find out the fact of the matter and based on those facts we would act,” Oshiomhole ha said.
“I know that Governor Ortom is a prominent member of the party. He has said repeatedly to me one on one that he will not leave the APC unless he was pushed out.
“I have since assumed the chairmanship of this party along with my brothers and sisters in the National Working Committee and I know that we have not shut out any Governor, certainly not Governor Ortom. So in these days of social media, I will not want to make comment on unverified report.”