The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Adams Oshiomhole, lacks the moral right to accuse other leaders of corruption, Benue State Government said on Saturday.
The government said this in reaction to comments Mr Oshiomhole reportedly made after Governor Samuel Ortom defected from the All Progressives Congress to the Peoples Democratic Party.
“Oshiomhole does not possess the moral credentials to accuse other leaders of corruption,” a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the state government, Mr Terver Akase, read in part.
According to the statement, Mr Oshiomhole praised Governor Ortom on July 19 after their meeting in Abuja, telling reporters that the APC was working to address the governor’s grievances and ensure he remains in the APC.
“We were, however, shocked when a few days later, after Ortom’s defection from APC, we read Comrade Oshiomhole making a 180 degrees turn to launch verbal attacks on the governor,” the statement said.
“The APC National Chairman’s sudden aggression toward Governor Ortom has revealed among other things, the true oppressive intentions of the ruling party APC against Nigerians”.
The Benue government also claimed Mr Oshiomhole’s action was part of a plot to throw Benue “into political crisis ahead of the 2019 elections”.
In rejecting the criticism of Governor Ortom, Akase called on the APC National Chairman to focus on his duties rather than making “divisive” statements.
“Comrade Oshiomhole ought to be telling Nigerians why they should vote for APC next year instead of embarking on a voyage of attacks on perceived opponents. His unprovoked attack on Governor Ortom and other members of the opposition has not translated to a single vote for the APC,” he said
“A man of supposed high political stature like Oshiomhole should rather be out to court the sympathy of the very few key actors still left in the APC even in the face of unprecedented frustration by anomalies in the party instead of launching laughable verbal assaults on those who can no longer stand the strange happenings within the party.”
According to Mr Akase, Governor Ortom has not violated the law in carrying out his functions, including the use of his security votes, and allegations that his aides were complicit in the killings in the state are untrue.
“Governor Ortom won’t let APC’s latter-day media attacks distract his administration from providing good governance to the people as he has been doing,” the CPS said.
“Though the Benue State Governor has left the APC, he appreciates the leadership and members of the party fro recognising and appropriately praising him for his laudable achievements.”
Mr Akase added that the people of the state had been warned that the attacks on the governor “will surely come from enemies of the state”.