By Henry Umoru, ABUJA
A group under the aegis of the Arewa Youths Consultative Forum (AYCF) has called on Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State to as a matter of urgency, resign and hands off the chairmanship of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) zoning committee.
In a statement yesterday in Abuja by the National President of AYCF, Yerima Shettima accused Governor Ortom of compromise and bias, stressing that his acceptance of the sum of N200m to Benue State from Governor Nyesome Wike of Rivers State who is contesting the presidential election in 2023, clearly has put the North at a disadvantage as far as zoning is concerned in the PDP.
Shettima called on the PDP chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, to come clean of allegations of harbouring a hidden agenda in support of Ortom’s actions and relieve him of the zoning task assigned to him or else near the toga of a collaborator.
Shettima who noted Wike clearly compromised the governor during his visit to the Benue governor wherein he donated the sum of N200m after declaring his intention to vie for the presidency and tacitly got the endorsement of Ortom, said, “Benue State has faced security challenges over the years without Wike showing concern. But such a gift coming at a time when the issue of zoning has been left to Ortom and others to decide makes it very delicate and totally unacceptable.
” For the records, we have canvassed that both the APC and the PDP either zone the presidency to the North or throw it open. Given the person of Ortom who has always kicked against anything North and does not see himself as one from the region, aside from his vast attacks on the Hausa Fulanis of the North makes him totally unfit for the zoning committee chairman of the PDP.
“That the North has only spent two and half years out of the 16 years PDP was in power lays the moral justification for the PDP to zone its presidency to the north or at best open the race. To now have Governor Ortom fraternising with Wike in such manner leaves much to be desired of the PDP and its chieftains.”
The Arewa youths who warned that any political party that takes the North for granted will have itself to blame as they would bear the political consequences of their actions come 2023, said, “We shall massively be involved in the mobilization of youths of the north for the 2023 elections and declare any politician or northerner who fails to support the north for the 2023 presidency as not only a saboteur but a persona non grata in the region.
“Wike for instance has made very damning remarks against the North in the last, ridiculing its people and leaders. To attempt to use Ortom for his political ascension and expediency at this time is an exercise in futility as we shall use our numbers, coherence and unity to checkmate him and other aspirants who do not have northern interest at heart.”