Nigerian Concord Newspaper
TEXT OF PRESS BRIEFING BY PUBLICITY SECRETARY OF THE BENUE STATE CHAPTER OF THE PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PDP) BEMGBA IORTYOM, IN MAKURDI, 20TH AUGUST, 2022:
APC MOST DYSFUNCTIONAL AND UNPATRIOTIC OPPOSITION IN BENUE’S POLITICAL HISTORY
Gentlemen of the press, I address you here today at the Secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue State to register the party’s growing concerns over the activities of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as an opposition party in the state.
Without mincing words we aver that APC in Benue State presently reckons as the most irresponsible, most dysfunctional and most unpatriotic opposition political party ever in the political history of the state, this on account of the conduct and publicly expressed views of the party such as have left so much to be desired.
Ranging from handling of its internal processes to its position on matters of state, APC has come far short of the basic minimum required of an opposition party which should be seen as a partner in societal building.
While the crass inability of the opposition party to meet such elementary lawful requirements as fielding candidates for the 2023 elections is at the moment a matter pending before the law courts, as such not subject for our commenting on, the party’s serial gaffes on matters of state policy and administration, such as was exhibited yesterday at a press conference it addressed in Makurdi calling for the impeachment of Governor Samuel Ortom over what it termed mismanagement of the local government tier of administration in the state need making a few observations on.
For starters, Governor Samuel Ortom does not run the local government administrations in Benue State, rather the Executive arm of the state government under his leadership only exercises oversight of that tier of government through clear cut constitutional provisions which do not include constituting councils and inaugurating them; local government council chairmen are vested with such responsibility, and if in the course of exercising this they have inaugurated the vice-chairmen, which is a fact against the lie by APC that they have not been inaugurated, but have encountered delays for a period of less than two months, which we are aware is for purpose of consensus building and harmony within the system, it should be understandable, especially to a party like APC under which control it took President Buhari over half a year to pick a cabinet composed of recycled politicians.
It is the assurances from PDP as the sponsoring platform for those local government administrations as well as the Ortom administration that the right thing is being done at those councils as we are aware no council chairman has so far acted outside of their lawful powers, even as they have so very early shown through decisive steps that they will consolidate on the achievements of their predecessors and thereby continue on the trajectory of improvement of governance at that tier, even as we equally assure that the legislative arms of government at that level will within the shortest possible time be inaugurated,
Governor Ortom holds the enviable distinction of since coming to office in 2015 having within the scope of lawful authority of his administration dutifully without fail provided for and ensured the conduct of elections into councils at the local governments, in 2017 when his administration was under the control of APC and which the party won and didn’t complain of any lapses therein, and under PDP in 2019 and most recently in May this year (2022) both of which APC in pathetic show of cowardice publicly declined participation in only to turn around and attempt to discredit, as they are doing presently.
PDP is not unmindful of the fact that such a sterling record contrasts sharply with that held by the leader of APC in Benue State, Senator George Akume, who’s sole attempt at conducting local government elections during his time as Governor remains to this day marked as the most bloodstained chapter in the history of the state, when thousands were slaughtered by militia he allegedly hired and sponsored to enforce his handpicked but unpopular cronies over the council administrations.
It is a manifestation of lack in depth of thought by the opposition party that they have shown themselves so incapable of comprehending even basically how the local government tier of administration functions, and also gone so far down the pedestrian lane as alleging unfounded acts of corruption against the Ortom administration and calling for his impeachment.
Perhaps, APC in their latest call for Governor Ortom’s impeachment is still under the same temptation as propelled them to attempt the failed bid to impeach him in the buildup to the 2019 elections with only 8 out to 30 members of the state Assembly who were backed by “Federal Might”, otherwise how does the concoction of watery commonplace allegations against the governor amount to impeachable offences?
By which consensus does APC hope to muster an impeachment of the governor in a legislative assembly where they have at the moment only 3 out of 30 members and it is doubtful by the trend of events if they will have even a single member by the turn of 2023?
APC has shown itself an enemy of Benue by continually holding and bandying views which target at demarketing the state and seeking to scuttle the attainment of strategic gains being sought by the Ortom administration, all in furtherance of a scorched earth strategy which PDP had earlier condemned.
Only recently the opposition party targeted the Benue Television which is another of the Ortom administration’s milestones with derisive commentaries in the media targeted to besmirch it when it was advertised that the station now airs on Channel 8 on the Free-to-Air satellite system, despite that this represents progress as even major television stations such as AIT climbed up the ladder to be where they are today, yet the same party’s spokesman man has been using the television station and was even a couple of days back a guest on one it’s talk shows.
The other day Benue APC came out condemning the calls by Governor Ortom for 13% derivation revenue allocation to Benue State from all mineral resources in the state, after the governor had mounted a case for the state to be designated a mineral producing state.
This clearly is politics taken to the rock bottom of negativity where the very essence of society itself is put to jeopardy in the quest by a group to usurp access to power.
This is politics which has not the interests of the state and the people in view as the objective, but rather that of a group and the self seeking interests of its members, but which are supposed to be subsumed under those of the state.
To APC winning power in Benue State at the 2023 elections is a matter of hook or crook as can be seen in the manner of the party’s approach to the processes leading up to the elections, with tell tale signs of a preference for mob rule over the lawful prescriptions of the rule of law.
We call on Benue people to beware of this same children of “Federal Might” as they have once again started the same and by now familiar dance steps targeted as usurping the popular mandate of the people which is being lustfully desired after by external forces which mean only ill for the Benue and her people.
PDP and the Ortom administration under the party’s control owe the people a duty of care to provide governance to them and a contractual obligation to discharge on the sworn oath of government to secure the lives and properties of the people while ensuring an enabling environment for them to thrive in private enterprise and industry.
Long Live the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
Long Live Benue State
Long Live Federal Republic of Nigeria