Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State said yesterday that governors elected on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and others defecting to the All Progressives Congress , APC, were doing so to avoid invitation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
He insisted that all PDP governors were the ones commissioning projects across the country because, as they are performing, are delivering democracy dividends to their people. Ortom, who made the assertion in Makurdi shortly after returning from Oyo State where he was invited to commission selected projects by Governor Seyi Makinde, insisted that defecting to the ruling party would not save those who soiled their hands from rendering accounts and facing justice.
The governor said: “I have been in this game since 1982, which is close to 40 years now. So you always see all this drama. Some people are afraid of EFCC that is why they are decamping to APC. Recall that a former Chairman of the APC once said that if you decamp to APC your sins are forgiven.
“You know it left some of us having our people visit the EFCC because we have refused to do that kind of kangaroo forgiveness of sins. But I have always told my people to do the right thing. Some are running away from the PDP because they are afraid of prosecution that is why they are running away from the PDP to APC. “But we must all realize that there is no hiding place for any criminal or thief, that is the truth. All the eye service you see happening around, when the day of reckoning comes nobody will stop the authorizes from fishing out whoever has committed crime in this country.
“That is why I have always said that prevention is better than cure. I have resolved that I will better go back to my village as a farmer than get myself involved in anything that would be questionable.
“That is also why I try as much as possible to be decent in the handling of the finances and other things of government. So we are not disturbed. You will see what will happen when we get to 2022. I may not be a prophet, but I might be near it. So there is no cause for alarm.
“This is democracy, people are free to associate with anyone they want but I can tell you that PDP is waxing stronger. One thing we are doing by constantly holding PDP Governors’ Forum Meeting is to reposition the party too. So that it will represent true democracy. “I believe in the saying that if you have not eaten the soup of another mother, you will think that your mother is the best cook in the world.
“Now Nigerians have tested APC and the basis for comparison is there. What was the exchange rate when the APC took over? What was the security situation when the APC took over governance in 2015?
‘’What was the economic status of this country, employment rates, education and all sectors of this country when they took over in 2015? What is the situation today? If somebody sits down and do a thorough analysis of what used to be and where we are now, I don’t know what you will score the APC. I am sure it will be below average.
“They have not performed at all. And I am praying everyday and I urge everyone to continue to pray but continue to work also, so that we can surmount this. Remember that God cannot just come and turn things around it behoves us to do it. I believe in Nigeria.”
On the benefits of inviting governors from other states to commission your projects, Governor Ortom said: “If you recall Governor Wike was here to commission projects. The Governors of Sokoto and Enugu as well as Nasarawa state who was represented came here to commission projects. More projects are coming up and I will also be inviting more of my colleagues, people from outside to come and commission the projects.
“It is good because it enables us to go round and interact with ourselves, that is the whole idea. It helps us to understand each other better and see how we can provide good governance to our people.
“You know that the governors elected on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, are the only ones commissioning projects.”