The Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom has requested the economic and financial crimes commission to start the probe of security vote from presidency if the commission was not after him dumping the All Progressive Congress APC. This was as the national chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, Pince Uche secondus claims Abuja forces behind ortom’s impeachment plot
The Benue state governor had dumped the governing All Progressive Party last week with EFCC Commencing immediate probe of his security vote.
The governor also described his probe as a clear case of persecution and witch-hunting. Ortom The governor, who made the call, yesterday, in a live state broadcast to the people in Makurdi monitored by urban express news online correspondent on a television broadcast on Africa Independent Television (AIT), wondered why he would be singled out among all governors in the country for such probe. He advised the anti-graft agency to begin the probe from the Presidency.
His word: “So far, I am the only governor in Nigeria whose Security Vote is being investigated by the EFCC all of a sudden. Why should Benue case be different if not persecution? “If the EFCC wanted a genuine investigation of security vote spending they should have started from the Presidency right across the 36 states. “If their focus was on Benue State they should have started from 1999 when Senator Akume was governor. But this is not the case.
“I want the whole world to know that all this is about persecution and a clear case of witch-hunting. “With the enormous security challenges in the state since my assumption of office, it is surprising that any one would expect me to do nothing but keep the security vote in the safe. “The security vote spending being investigated spans from 2015 to 2018, a period of grave security challenges in the state”.
I reiterate that the investigation is a clear case of persecution. “I have not misappropriated, diverted or stolen any money. I have nothing to hide. I assure that the investigators can find nothing incriminating against me.” Ortom, who explained that he is being persecuted for enacting Anti-Open Grazing Law and his recent defection from the ruling APC to PDP wondered why, as a citizen of the country, he cannot associate with any party he wants. He maintained that he had to decamp from the APC because the interest of the Benue people and his interest were no longer being protected.
Mean while the National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Uche Secondus has stated that the plot by eight members of the Benue state House of Assembly to serve impeachment notice on the Governor was being propelled by forces in Abuja. Uche Secondus warned that Nigeria as a country was in crisis insisting that the whole world and lovers of democracy must rise against the impunity going on in Benue state.
Secondus who led some national officials of the Party, PDP Governors of Bayelsa, Gombe and Taraba as well as some National Assembly members to Makurdi to pay a solidarity visit on Governor Samuel Ortom said the Governor was being persecuted because he defected from the APC. He said, “this country, particularly Benue is in crisis.
The whole world has watched the drama in Benue where only eight members of the State Assembly out of 30 plans to served the Governor an impeachment notice. We are aware that the powers that be in Abuja are behind it. “Are they not aware of the killings in Benue? What did they do about it? They claimed they don’t know. What will they ever be aware of? We insist that Benue is for God and for PDP and they will never and can never impeach the Governor.” The National Chairman told the gathering at the new banquet hall of the Government House that Ortom was being persecuted because he had always stood with the ordinary people and stood against the killings in the state.
“He (Ortom) stood with the ordinary people and continually condemned the killings and that is why the APC led government wants to hang him. APC refused to protect you. Bloodletting, blood flowing all across the nation. Nigerians must stand and resist the APC style of governance.” “As soon as the Governor decamped, they started coming up with trumped up charges against him. We are here to assure you that PDP is standing by you and you have the full benefit of the party. From now on, Ortom is the leader of the Party (PDP) in Benue. All other matters will be resolved.
” He added Speaking on behalf of the visiting governors, Governor of Bayelsa State, Sariake Dickson while commending Ortom for standing strong in the face of stiff opposition declared that, “the nonsense going on in Benue makes no sense.”
He maintained that the institution of democracy must be respected stressing that impeachment was not a step that should be taken lightly on flimsy charges and commended the Titus Uba led faction of 22 members of the House of Assembly for standing with the Governor at a trying moment. Welcoming the team Governor Ortom who assured the delegation that Benue remained a PDP state expressed his readiness to work with the leaders of the party in the state. “I went on a journey and I am back, today, myself, our leaders, Senator David Mark, former Governor Gabriel Suswam and other leaders of the party shall work together and ensure our victory from ward level to the national level.