A prominent member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and frontline House of Representatives aspirant from Benue State, Hon Nathaniel Ikyur, has condemned the current attempts by the Adams Oshiomhole-led All Progressives Congress (APC) to remove Governor Samuel Ortom from office for daring to ditch the ruling party for its unjust treatment of the people of the state.
Speaking at an interactive session with journalists in Abuja on Thursday, Hon. Ikyur advised the APC Chairman and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to allow the people of the state to freely decide who should govern them without pressure or interference from external quarters.
He gave the advice against the backdrop of the orchestrated campaign by the APC and its government-controlled agencies, such as the EFCC against the person of Governor Ortom following his recent defection to the PDP.
Ikyur, who is a leading aspirant for the Gboko/Tarka Federal Constituency seat, debunked the insinuation that the Governor owes large backlog of salaries, pointing out that he only owes workers six months arrears just as he does not owe workers in 2018.
“Ortom’s administration inherited a monthly wage bill of N7.8 billion which has dropped to N4.5 billion after the Governor carried out verification exercise as a prudent manager,” he said.
According to him, “Ortom is not the only state governor in the country that owing workers’ salaries today and neither is he the worst culprit.”
“The issue of salary alone should not be used as a basis for judging the performance of governor, especially in the case of Ortom who has demonstrated clearly his resolve and determination to protect the ancestral land of the people of Benue to protest against the unprovoked attacks against the people,” he added.
He called for a stop to the persecution of their Governor, describing Ortom’s travails in the hands of the agents of State as unnecessary distractions especially since he decamped from APC to PDP.
Ikyur who is a former Senior Special Assistant to governor Ortom on Public Utilities, Environment & Sanitation further said, “The Federal Government is not always on ground in Benue to appreciate the enormous job the Governor has on his hands including caring for the deluge of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
He noted that over 312, 000 IDPs were currently in eight camps in Benue State as at last month.