The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has accused the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, of trying to blackmail and intimidate him.
He stated that Ayu was mounting a smear campaign against him because he is among those calling for the removal or resignation of the PDP Chairman.
HausaToday reports that the G-5 PDP Governors led by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State have called for Ayu’s resignation as a condition to support the presidential candidate of the party, Atiku Abubakar.
Speaking on Sunday during a meeting with Ayu’s kinsmen, known as the Jemgbagh PDP Elders Forum comprising leaders from Gboko, Tarka, and Buruku Local Government Areas, LGAs, the governor debunked insinuations that he was pulling down a Jemgbagh son.
According to Ortom, who is seeking to go to the Senate in 2023, he actually rallied support for the election of Senator Ayu as national chairman against all odds.
Governor Ortom noted that because he was contesting for the Benue North-West Senatorial district seat, he had become a subject of intimidation and blackmail by some Jemgbagh stakeholders because of his stance for justice and fairness and call on Dr. Ayu who is from the same senatorial zone with him, to resign.
He said: “Power is given by God and no one should blackmail me because of my senatorial ambition. Nobody should think he will intimidate me because of the senate election. If God ordains me to be elected Senator for the Benue North-West Senatorial zone, no amount of blackmail or intimidation can prevent me from winning.”
Ortom stated that after the PDP presidential primary he advised Ayu to reach out to aggrieved leaders of the party and plead for their understanding over calls for his resignation.
“But rather than take my counsel, he chose to take the path of disuniting the party by his actions and utterances,” he said.
According to the Benue Governor, the National Chairman did not maintain neutrality in handling the affairs leading to the PDP national convention, which produced Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as the presidential candidate of the party.
He stressed that Ayu himself committed to resigning should a northern presidential candidate emerge at the northern caucus of the party at the Bauchi State lodge.
The governor wondered why the PDP national chairman had now reneged on his promise which he voluntarily made before all the northern leaders of the party.
He told the Jemgbagh stakeholders to also invite Senator Ayu and himself to a meeting so that they could both present their positions on the matter.