Benue: PDP reacts to report of Gov Ortom’s planned defection to APC alongside Gemade



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The Benue State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Friday debunked reports that the state Governor, Samuel Ortom alongside some its chieftains would soon defect to the All Progressives Congress, APC.

Spokesman of PDP in the state, Bemgba Iortyom described the report as a “rude shock,” which is premised on falsehood.

Iortyom issued the rebutal in response to an article by New Telegraph, where Ortom and some political stronghold in the state were said to be on their way to the APC from PDP.

In a statement he forwarded to DAILY POST, Iortyom stressed that some of the political bigwigs named were not members of the PDP, hence the article should be discarded by Nigerians.

According to Iortyom: “The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue State in Benue State read with rude shock a report in New Telegraph Newspaper of yesterday, Thursday, August 27, 2020, on page 9 in which its correspondent, Cephas Iorhemen, crafted a report about members of the party in the State recently decamping to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“The report captioned; “2023: Ominous signs as defection hits Benue PDP” claims sensationally that the likes of Chief Barnabas A Gemade Chief Mike Okibe Onoja, Hon. Herman Hembe Hembe Hon. Emmanuel Memga Udende and others are the defectors from our great party to the APC.

“Same report went further to claim that Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, is imminently on his way out of the PDP to join APC, even twisting the governor’s rebuttal of this rumour to suit the obvious purpose of the report.

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“But “far is the truth from what he reported” (apologies Gov. Samuel Ortom), as none of those mentioned was a member of PDP at the time of their joining APC, and this the party recently made abundantly clear through several mediums publicly.

“Chief Gemade ran for re-election to the Senate in 2019 on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), losing to PDP’s Gabriel Suswam, and placing a distant third in the race. It was from SDP that he joined APC in his latest lap of habitual political migration.

“Herman Hembe is a serving member of the House of Representatives, a seat he won in the 2019 elections on the platform of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), and it from there that he cross-carpeted to APC.

“Former House of Representatives member, Emmanuel Udende, whom New Telegraph wrongly addressed as “Another House of Representatives member..” isn’t a different case as he ran for the re-election to that seat in 2019 on the platform of APGA but lost woefully, and it was from that party he decamped to APC.

“In the case of Chief Mike Onoja who ran for the Benue-South Senate seat on the platform of SDP in 2019, the man in an official statement he personally signed and circulated to the social media denied decamping to APC. He emphatically stated that he remains in SDP and that, though he was aware some of Aides had joined APC, he wasn’t part of their decamping and that the statements they made in the course of doing so were theirs and not on his behalf.

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“It is, therefore, not for want of information that Cephas Iorhemen of New Telegraph chose to publish the report in issue standing truth on its head. Moreso considering that the New Telegraph correspondent is an indigene of Benue and as well resident and working here, he ordinarily should be abreast of the such basic facts as he completely ignored in his report.

“It is preposterous and the height of illogic to assert that Governor Ortom is on his way out of PDP into APC, and this much the governor himself has expressed surprise at, querying why he would want to leave PDP where he has found stability and success back to APC where all he experienced was instability and imminent failure.

“To Cephas Iorhemen everyone of the decampees is a friend of Governor Samuel Ortom and their joining the APC automatically translates to the governor and his party, PDP, suffering abandonment.

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“But if such logic of those decampees being Governor Ortom’s friends should be stretched further, it would then mean every political leader in any political party is as well the governor’s friend, as such their movement from one platform to another cannot be interpreted as weakening him or his party, the PDP.

“It is clear to see, even to Cephas Iorhemen of New Telegraph, that none of those decampees he listed in his fictitious report was a member of PDP at the time of their joining APC, yet we are aware that for pecuniary or other unwholesime considerations, some journalists wouldn’t turn down the opportunity to do a hatchet job.

“Moreover, when a journalist harbours partisan political bias as Cephas Iorhemen is known to have exhibited in the course of his work in the state so far, it doesn’t come as a surprise when such a one turns his pen into a gun to rob society of its right to factual reportage of events.

“Any jourlanist who could claim, as the New Telegraph correspondent did, that Chief Gemade decamped with 25,000 supporters at a village rally is not only engaging in pen robbery but also aspiring to the ‘Comedian of the Year’ award.”



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