Defection: How gov. Ortom yielded to community interest – Waku

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The Pro-Chancellor of Federal University of Technology, Akure in Ondo State, Senator Joseph Waku, on Thursday said the defection of Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State was largely due to community interest pressured on him by his people.

Ortom had on Wednesday dumped the All Progressives Congress (APC) on which platform he rode to power in 2015 and announced his decision to rejoin the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) following an earlier alarm he raised that his former party handed him a red card.

The governor’s defection which happened barely 24-hours after the state’s House of Assembly Speaker, Terkimbi Ikyange and other principal officers were kicked out of office had raised dust in some quarters.

But, Waku, an elder statesman as well as one of the top politicians in the state, told our correspondent in Makurdi that the move was the right thing to do as it serves the community interest, emphasising that there was nothing wrong with the governor’s defection to another party of his choice.

“Defection is not a new thing, when a community interest is not looked after, you have to move to where you can render service, especially where the community insist that you must do so like the Ortom’s case. He yielded to pressure mounted by his community and I don’t see anything wrong with that,” he said.

The pro-chancellor who is also an APC stalwart noted that Ortom had alleged that he was given a red card and that someone had seized the party in the state such that he wouldn’t want to stay and continue to fight aimlessly.

He therefore added that it was reasonable for the governor to quit instead of remaining there to join issues with someone who cared less about the killings going on in the state to fight for the control of the party.

“Ortom has left the party but some of us still there will stay to see what will happen. I will continue to abide by the rules of the game not impunity. Ortom has the support of all Benue citizens for that decision he took and I’m not going to work on partisanship but personality. He (Ortom) has made a good decision and I as the leader of MINDA elders council have no objection,” he added.

Waku who insisted that he is APC and would remain so, opined that nothing would deter him from supporting a personality of his choice across political divides even as he recalled that the PDP never loosed the 2015 election but Jonathan did as well as Buhari not APC won the same election.

He further warned the leadership of APC to retrace its footstep from becoming dictatorial, stressing that the ongoing mass defection from its fold to other parties should serve as a wake up call for it to put the House in order rather than being a gangster.

Waku emphasised, “Adams Oshiomole must be more of a party leader than a labour leader, he has to be more civil than militant. The two can’t go together so he should be more democrat.”