Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue state, says the All Progressives Congress (APC) has performed “abysmally” in the past seven years.
The governor said Nigerians need to have a “viable alternative to the APC, especially after the dismal and abysmal performance of the party over the past seven years”.
According to a statement issued on Tuesday by Nathaniel Ikyur, chief press secretary to Ortom, the governor said the APC will lose the 2023 election if it is bereft of interference from state actors.
“They’ve (APC) kept their promise to take Nigeria from top to bottom. They have taken our country beneath the bottom. It’s a big shame. For us in the PDP, the onus rests on us to mend the cracks in our party. No external influence will do that for us. By the grace of God, we will reach a successful end so that we can move on,” he said.
“So long as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is as professional and neutral as it was in Osun and Ekiti states, I don’t see the APC winning the elections.
“Having been in politics from the grassroots, the state and national levels for over 40 years now, there’s no magic the APC can conjure to win in 2023.
“Some of their leaders who think they are powerful, have indirectly visited wickedness on the generality of our people in the name of being close to Aso Rock.”
Ortom said the APC is losing members across the country, noting that “with the kind of political traffic we are witnessing across the country from the APC to PDP, there is general disenchantment with the APC”.
“It’s all over, Cross River, Rivers, everywhere. The APC government has unwittingly precipitated a huge lacuna, a very big gap, complete disconnect, with the people,” he added.
The Benue governor alleged that some members of the APC prevailed over the federal government not to release funds to his state to pay salaries and pensions.
“We applied for a bailout of N42 billion from the federal government to enable us to offset long-standing arrears of salaries, pensions and gratuities. Some of these people scrambled to the state house to tell the president not to release the funds even after approval, so that we will not take the credit for solving the age-long problem. This is the kind of mean-spirited attitude APC is inflicting on our people,” he said.
“I said it before. It is now almost two years since I last saw the president. If I had access to him, I would prefer a one-on-one exchange with him. Since that is not possible, I go to the press. I must talk, I must express myself, I’m holding this office in trust for several million people of Benue state, I’m not here on my own volition. Unfortunately, those who are expected to burnish the image of their party and the President, have chosen to be antagonists of their people. We will see how things evolve.
“The moment the doctor has been able to ascertain the crux of an ailment afflicting his patient by physical and laboratory investigations, the problem is substantially resolved. The patient is on the path to convalescence after necessary treatment and guidance. We will sort ourselves out in PDP, to the shame of our detractors.”