The All Progressives Congress (APC) has described as “somewhat surprising” the defection of Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The party said this in a statement by their National Publicity Secretary, Bolaji Abdullahi, hours after Ortom dumped the ruling party for the opposition.
They recalled the efforts made by APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, to address some of the grievances raised by the governor pertaining to the local politics in his state.
“The Governor had left the meeting saying he was satisfied with the assurances given by party leaders,” Abdullahi said. “We are still working on giving effect to the resolutions from the meeting. Therefore, we are somewhat surprised by Governor Ortom’s decision.”
He added, “The party reiterates its earlier position that it respects the rights of every citizen to choose their political affiliation but expresses hope that those who have left the party will rescind their decisions.”
Despite the latest development, the APC spokesman noted that the party believed it was too late for reconciliation and would continue to talk.
According to him, reconciliation is still possible as long as people keep their minds open and have the courage to put the real issues on the table.
“We once again call on members across the country to remain calm as the party leadership continues to work hard to position the party strongly for the next general elections,” Abdullahi pleaded.
Earlier at the Government House in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, Governor Ortom declared that he has decided to join the PDP after a series of consultations.
He had announced during a meeting with local government chairmen and councillors that “I have formally resigned from the All Progressives Congress (APC)”.
The meeting held shortly after a group of youths in Benue blocked the entrance of the Government House in a protest, preventing the governor from travelling to Abuja to attend a reconciliation meeting with the leadership of the APC.