Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has announced his defection from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The governor made the announcement during a meeting with elected local government Chairmen and councillors on Wednesday at the Government House Makurdi, hours after protesting youths barred him from traveling to Abuja to attend the APC reconciliation meeting.

During the meeting, Ortom brandished a letter of resignation which he said he had already submitted to his ward APC Chairman.

Thirteen local government chairmen and 276 councillors were in attendance.

“But let me formally inform this gathering that I have forwarded my resignation letter from the APC to the chairman of my council ward and he has promised to join me in the new party,” Ortom said.

“As I talk to you, 10 out of 17 state lawmakers of the All Progressive Congress are ready to follow me to the new party.

“May I formally announce to you that I have formally moved to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),” governor Ortom declared.

Earlier, the 13 council Chairmen and leaders of the legislative council in attendance had promised to follow the governor to the new party to support his re-election aspiration.

The announcement brings to an end months of speculation that the governor will return to the PDP as a result of his disagreement with leaders of the APC in Benue and at the national level.

His defection follows major political decisions in the state over the last three weeks, all of which had fuelled the speculations of his exit.

The governor recently sacked over 80 percent of his cabinet members and, on Tuesday, the Benue House of Assembly impeached  Terkimbi Ikyange as its Speaker.

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