The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has given an indication that he is leaving Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Speaking on Monday at the inauguration of his new Special Adviser on Bureau of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Jerome Torshimbe, Mr Ortom said he has been given a “red card” by the APC.
Mr Ortom’s statements were confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES by his special adviser on media, Tahav Agerzua.
“As for party, I have been given red card and I’m outside the pitch. So, if I have been given red card and I’m standing outside, I’m a free man,”
“So, I don’t know what will happen next; but I’m waiting.”
He said he will tell Benue residents if he is joining another football club (political party).
“I’m a child of destiny and it’s only God that will decide what I will be,” he said.
Mr Ortom’s Benue State is among the most affected by the killings involving nomadic herdsmen.
Hundreds of people have been killed in Benue and other states like Plateau and Taraba in 2018 in violence involving herders and nomadic communities. About 100 people were killed on January 1, 2018 in Benue State alone. Most of the victims were given mass burial. Many residents of the state and other observers have accused the APC-led federal government of not doing enough to stop the killings.
Mr Ortom is among the top APC members believed to have concluded plans to dump the party. Others include Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.
The governor’s imminent exit got further traction when he dissolved the state cabinet and in the process sacked associates of his one-time political patron, George Akume. Mr Akume, a senator, is still a member of the APC.
Mr. Ortom was a national auditor of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) before he was appointed a minister by the former President Goodluck Jonathan.
He left the PDP to APC in 2014 after he failed to secure its governorship ticket.