THE NATION HEADLINE: Oshiomhole: only those who lack honour ’ll defect to PDP

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PARTY chiefs moved yesterday to stem the likely tide of defections from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

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National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole met in Abuja with Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom who claimed that the party had issued him a red card.
Ortom was, in fact, one of the governors believed to be set for a return to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

To Oshiomhole, those who will defect from the APC to the PDP lack honour.

On Wednesday, PDP National Chairman Uche Secondus and some of the leaders and governors of the opposition party met with Senate President Bukola Saraki and three APC governors in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, to perfect the defection plot.

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The governors are: Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto) and Samuel Ortom (Benue).

Ortom told reporters yesterday after meeting Oshiomhole that he had not defected.

The APC chairman described the governor as a man of honour who would not defect from APC to the PDP, which he left three-and-a-half years ago.

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The Benue APC chapter also denied issuing the governor a red card – as he had claimed.

The House of Representatives APC Caucus also went into an emergency session on the defection plan of some of its members. House Leader Femi Gbajabiamila said there was no cause for alarm.

Ortom, speaking after meeting with Oshiomhole at the APC secretariat, said: “It was the Benue APC that gave me a red card not the National APC and I thought that it was enough to make myself available out of the pitch, but the leadership of the party told me that the decision of the party leadership at the national level is superior to that of any individual or group of people and I think that is good enough.

“They have spoken to him (Akume), they have also spoken to me and the state stakeholders are going to be spoken to and that’s where we are; we have not concluded the matter, it’s an ongoing process. I always stand for peace, and I always want peace to prevail, that’s what I stand for. I appreciate the intervention of the party’s leadership and I hope that we will be able to resolve the matter of differences.”

Ortom added: “I’m here at the APC Secretariat as a member of the party and still flying the flag of APC in the state. I only said I was given ‘red card’ but, have been corrected by the national secretariat.”

Oshiomhole said only those without honour would leave the APC for the PDP.

He noted that there could, however, be legitimate legal issues and disagreements in some state chapters of the party.

He said: “Senator Akume is a very respected leader of the party, a former governor and a current senator; he will recognise the need for peace and we have what it takes to make peace.

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“In Benue, we are going for a win-win solution; Governor Ortom is not going anywhere. He is a very prominent member of our party, and we appreciate his leadership in Benue. We will do everything possible to help those who have issues to have those issues resolved.

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