Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has insisted that the ruling party will not let Samuel Ortom, Governor of Benue State, out of its sight.
In the middle of a power tussle with George Akume, a serving senator and former Governor of Benue, Ortom announced on Monday that he had been red-carded from the APC and was standing outside the pitch ‘like a free man” waiting to join another club.
On Wednesday, he met some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders, ahead of an anticipated defection to the erstwhile ruling party.
However, after a closed-door meeting with Ortom at the party secretariat in Abuja on Thursday, Oshiomole said that the APC does not have a red card, and therefore cannot give what it doesn't have.
“Senator Akume is a very respected leader of the party; he is former Governor, a current senator, and he will recognise the need for peace and we have what it takes to make peace,” Oshiomhole told journalists after the meeting.
“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 and we will do everything possible to help those who have issues to have these issues resolved. The only thing will we not accept is anybody leaving the house we have toiled to build together.
“APC does not even have red card, so we can't give what we don't have and we recognise that there could be legitimate legal issues like agreement, disagreement and contestation, and these we are familiar with. They are the evidence that we are democratic party. When leaders have disagreements, it is to help them and find a common ground and issues in Benue are not so fundamental that they cannot be resolved. We are very confident that we will resolve them.
“For the PDP hovering round, they must know that only people without honour will vomit in the morning and in the afternoon they convert it to lunch. People like Ortom who have honour cannot leave PDP three and half ago with his eyes open and then two, three years later there are some tension in his master bedroom and he is thinking of returning to ‘People Deceiving People’.
“I mean, that cannot be an option. He is a man of honour, he knows that once you make one step forward you take the second step to consolidate the first step and that is the way to go.”