By SUNDAY ODIBASHI
The details of the dialogue between Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State and the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole before the former APC governor defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are being unveiled in peace meal. After Ortom had raised alarm that he has been issued red card by APC and then free to j0oin any other political party of his choice, Oshiomhole had convened an emergency meeting where Ortom had acknowledged that the national APC assured him that there is no red card at the national headquarters but insisted that the Benue APC and Senator George Akume, the godfather in the state, issued him red card.
Oshiomhole had assured Ortom of win-win situation in th3e intervention of the national leadership, promising to hold same dialogue with Akume, noting that Akume being a former governor knows the essence of peace in the party.
However, after further consultations, Oshiomhole, National Daily gathered had told Ortom that he could get the APC ticket only on the condition that he clears the salary owed workers in Benue State. Oshiomhole had admonished the Benue governor that APC stands for integrity in service delivery and would not compromise that standard in issuing the party’s tickets members as candidates for the 2019 elections. Party sources said that the condition sounded like a tall order on the Benue governor, compelling him to jettison the dialogue with the APC national chairman, turning around to defect to the PDP.
However, they were suspicions that Oshiomhole would have consulted with Akume who may not have shifted ground on sponsoring a new governorship candidate in Benue State in 2019. The senator is believed to be sponsoring Emmanuel Jime for 2019 on the platform of APC.
Oshiomhole had also raised the issue of killings in Benue State on which some of Ortom’s appointees are currently going through investigations over the killing of two Catholic Priests, Reverend Fathers Joseph Gor and Felix Tyolaha, of the St. Ignatius Quasi Parish, Ukpor-Mbalom in Ayar-Mbalom community of Gwer East Local Government Area, Benue State, and 17 worshippers massacred on April 24, 2018.
Stakeholders in Benue had been agitating that the Priests had on Sunday admonished Ortom to pay workers’ salaries or live with the consequences in 2019 in their sermons, the next Sunday, killers invaded the Church where the priests and some worshippers were slaughtered.
National Daily gathered that the six suspects on the murder of two catholic priests in Benue on April 24, 2018, under prison remand, were found to be appointees of Governor Ortom. They include: Tashaku Aliyu, Commander of the Livestock Guards; Husseini Manga, Ngyohov Shin, David Akenawe, Agada Tsesaa and Tarza Orvanya.