<< By Nathaniel Ikyur >>
I have read a particular news report making the rounds in the social media attributed to one-time Commissioner of Police for Lagos State, our very respected elder, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, mni, wherein he made some scathing remarks on the person of Dr Samuel Ortom, the APC gubernatorial candidate for Benue State. I therefore make the following submission.
As a Media Aide to Dr Samuel Ortom, am constrained to respond to what its attributed to our respected elder, CP Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, Rtd. This is because I cannot ascertain the veracity of this article whether it was an exclusive interview conducted with him or it was lifted online because of what the report represents. That said, I will only point out some inaccuracies herein.
One, it’s uncharitable to attempt to describe Dr Ortom as a ‘desperate’ politician. No he is not. The way the politics of this nation is constructed, movement from one party to another is fully recognised. For instance, in 2003, Prof Daniel Saror dumped the PDP and crossed over to the ANPP and won the zone A senatorial seat for a second term. Elsewhere in Abia, Comrade Uche Chukwumerije after loosing a return ticket on the platform of the PDP crossed to PPA and was re-elected to the Senate.
Chukwumerije was to return back to the PDP after he parted ways with Chief Orji Uzor Kalu.
Isa Yuguda, the Bauchi state governor serving his last term was given a soft landing in the ANPP after his romance with the current national Chairman of the PDP, then Bauchi state governor, Adamu Muazu crashed and he could not actualised his ambition in the PDP. Many of our political leaders have indulged in same and have remained so. Senator Ahmadu Ali, the proponent of Garrison Politics was a member of the then APP before his boss and friend, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo lured him into the PDP. The list goes on. And does this make them desperate? The answer definitely is No. The fluidity of our politics approves of this. Many of those in the PDP now were not in the party initially.
When Dr Ortom talks about the potency of God in his life, it should not be painted to mock his beliefs. For sure, Dr Samuel Ortom was NOT instrumental to the litany of legal hurdles that delayed the conduct of the APC gubernatorial primaries in Benue state which eventually created the way for him to contest and by the grace of God became the candidate of the party. Besides, the amended constitution of the APC which took effect after the Mini Convention of the party in October last year also created the needed leeway for credible candidates like Dr Ortom, my Principal and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal who defected to the party barely a few days to the governorship primaries to test their potentials. It was the thinking of the leaders of the APC, through this amended constitution, to anticipate fallouts from the PDP primaries which is what Dr Ortom explored. If you do not believe it’s God at work in the political life of Ortom, how come the legal battles raged on until the PDP primaries were concluded before he could cross over to participate in the APC Primaries?
Another wrong notion being peddled to give the impression as if SOMEONE WON the APC Primaries and Ortom came and snatched it away is FALSE. The governorship primaries of the APC were yet to be conducted BECAUSE OF THE COURT INJUNCTIONS. The leadership of the party in the state felt that given the timeline specified by the electoral body for the conduct and submission of candidates names for the governorship seat, going into another round of primaries would have been rancourous which may have denied the party the opportunity to field a candidate for the position of governor. Hence the consensus option came into play.
The process may not have been tidy which Dr Ortom himself has confessed to and has consistently been reaching out to his fellow contestants, to build bridges and heal the wounds and approach the elections as one family. One of such genuine attempts yielded fruits when Prof Steven Ugbah accepted to superintend over the Ortom / Abounu Campaign as it’s Director-General.
The write up also claimed that Ortom took a ‘sweep’ (sic), I think it’s meant (swipe) at Sen Akume and called him and the APC names. This is false. Dr Ortom has maintained very close relationship with Sen Akume even when the Senate Minority Leader left the PDP to ACN in 2011. It’s to Dr Ortom’s credit that he personally initiated several peace meetings between Sen Akume and Dr Gabriel Torwua Suswam. For someone who dedicated so much of his time to reconcile Akume and Suswam, you will be doing disservice to him to accuse him of disrespect to the point of saying ‘he called Akume names’.
If you indeed claim that “many people who Gov Gabriel T Suswam helped have today turned against him,” What would you say about Suswam to Sen Akume?
Lastly, I know that CP A Tsav is man that won’t keep quiet in the face of injustice. Am convinced that if he was indeed the person that spoke with you, he would have condemned the injustice the outgoing PDP administration, led by Gabriel Torwua Suswam, PhD, CON has meted out to the people of Benue state for non payment of their salaries. If it were Tsav that spoke here, he would have called on the outgoing government to reopen our tertiary institutions that have been on strike for months because their lecturers are owed salaries. As a pensioner, i know if it were CP Tsav’s voice herein, he would called on Suswam to do the needful: urged him to pay his colleagues their stipends for the service they rendered to their fatherland.
I rest for now…..