Benue State governor Samuel Ortom has withdrawn the case he filed at the Election Petitions Tribunal against the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Titus Zam, the APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The governor apologised to those he might have offended in the course of serving the state and the country, adding that “I seek your forgiveness, as I have also forgiven those who have offended me.”
Ortom had alleged intimidation of voters and non-transmission of elections electronically, which he asserted encouraged rigging during the February 25th presidential and National Assembly elections which he contested to represent the Benue North West senatorial district.
Ortom lost the senatorial election to Zam who was his special adviser on local government and chieftaincy affairs until the governor defected to the PDP in 2018.
Zam got 143,151 votes to defeat Ortom who scored 106,882.
The governor, who made his decision known after a meeting with Zone B stakeholders and his campaign team, explained that the decision to withdraw his case from the court is in the interest of peace, adding that the withdrawal is without prejudice to the suits filed by other candidates of the PDP.
He said, “As a leader of PDP, I will continue to support the party in collaboration with other leaders to enable it to bounce back from the mistakes and drawbacks that are affecting it at the moment.”
According to him, “Though there was glaring evidence of malpractices including non-transmission of results electronically during the conduct of the Benue North West Senatorial election, I have taken the decision to withdraw my case from the tribunal. As the Bible says in John 3:27 ‘A man can receive nothing, except it is given to him from heaven’.
“ Let me reassure the people of Benue State that as the governor, I will continue to provide selfless service in all sectors of development till the end of my tenure on May 29, 2023. For those I might have offended in this journey of serving the state and our country, I seek their forgiveness, as I also forgive those who have offended me.”
While commending Benue electorate for their resilience during the elections despite the glaring provocation and intimidation by the federal might, the governor particularly thanked the PDP in the state for its support, saying, “It has been an honour to serve the people of the state as governor. Within this period, I have executed the mandate given to me by God almighty through Benue people and I will always be available and ready to carry out God’s mandate as He directs me. In the course of serving the state, I have always ensured equity, fairness, justice and the rule of law.
“As a key political player in Benue State whose career has spanned over 40 years, the grace of God has taken me to key positions at the local, state and national levels within which period I rose to become a local government chairman, state secretary, state deputy chairman and national auditor of PDP, minister of the Federal Republic and now I am a two-term governor, I will forever remain grateful to Almighty God and the people of Benue State. God’s mercy and blessings have indeed enabled me to attain these heights,” Ortom said.