A former deputy governor of Benue State, Chief Stephen Lawani, has said Governor Samuel Ortom’s failure to meet the expectations of the people of the state in terms of infrastructural development was the reason for his departure to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Lawani who is one of those eyeing the senatorial seat in Benue South under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) added that the governor’s poor performance pitched him against the leadership of the APC and his departure will not affect their chances in next years general elections.
He said, “In fact, it was because Ortom knew that we are not satisfied with the way he is running the state and may not get a second term that forced him out of the party. So we are not bothered. President Buhari will win in Benue and APC will retain the governorship after the 2019 general elections. Ortom or no Ortom cannot stop our victory.
“If you observe, all those defecting are doing so because they lost out in the politics of their various states and it is not different from Benue. Let me also say that the issue of people wanting to defect is a natural thing in politics. People come there with expectations and, when they don’t get what they want, they tend to leave.
When asked why he was contesting to be senator, he said, “This game of politics is service to the people. I was deputy governor but my boss former governor, Gabriel Suswan, had my ears, so I was able to serve my people very well.
“When I was deputy governor, I attracted roads to my area, gave the town a new look, water was provided. I did a good number of things not only in Oturkpo but other local government areas in my zone.
“And our people do not forget easily and that is why I am optimistic that they will remember what I did and give me the opportunity to service them again. I want to go there to serve my people.
“I contested in 1997 and won. Having served as deputy governor for eight years, I feel I should run for the Senate. So I am in the race and I believe that I will get the blessing of my party and fly their flag and deliver victory for the APC.”