John Akperashi, a former chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue State, says the average Benue man sees the APC as “a Miyetti Allah party that has a preference for cows over human beings”.
Therefore, Akperashi advised Samuel Ortom, Governor of the state, to seek an alternative platform to actualise his second term aspiration, otherwise he would lose woefully if he contests under the APC platform.
Speaking with journalists in Makurdi, capital of the state, on Wednesday, he also said all indices are against the Governor, who “has no structure in the party”.
He maintained that the APC at present cannot win any election in the state following the massacre of Benue people by suspected herdsmen since January.
“To an average Benue person, the APC is seen as Miyetti Allah party that has a preference for cows over human beings,” Akperashi said.
“The party lacks credibility and is insensitive to the plight of the people.
“I know very well that Governor Ortom is not comfortable in the APC. If he is pretending, then that is his own problem. It is either he is just playing along or playing to the gallery. He is just buying time to take his decision and at the appropriate time, he will just leave.
“But he has the resources so he can do whatever he likes at any time but some of us are still growing. [Looking at] what is obtainable in the APC, I do not see him winning elections.”
Akperashi added that the Governor, should he switch parties, has a bright chance of securing his second term because of his stance against the killings in the state, which prompted the enactment of the anti-open grazing law.
“Yes, he has done his best and I give him kudos for that,” he said. “I have said it often that put Suswam and Ortom, he has done well more than the former in terms of protecting the lives of his people and fighting herdsmen because of the law he collaborated with Benue people to sign.”
Explaining his resignation from the APC, he lamented that all the people who followed Governor Ortom to APC from PDP have been pushed aside, including the Governor.
“In everything, the people have pushed us aside and when I saw all these things, I told the Governor but I could see that there was nothing he could do because even in his local government, Guma, the persons elected during the ward and local government congress were not his loyalists.
“His hands were tied. No single person who followed him from PDP to APC had his interest protected. I told him that as a Governor you can have your way but for me, I cannot continue to be part of this arrangement where I will be doing political work and someone else will be taking the glory.”