Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, is looking for a new political party after leaving the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The governor disclosed this during the swearing-in ceremony of his new Special Adviser on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Jerome Torshimbe, in Makurdi, the state capital on Monday, July 16, 2018.
While highlighting the problems that the state has faced with incessant killings in 2018, the governor said the APC kicked him out and made him a free man. He further noted that God will decide what his next move will be.
He said, "As for party, I have been given red card and I'm outside the pitch. So, if I have been given red card and I'm standing outside, I'm a free man.
"So I don't know what will happen next but I'm waiting. If others approach me, then I will tell the Benue people that I'm joining another football club. I'm a child of destiny and it's only God that will decide what I will be."
When contacted about the development on Monday, the governor's Chief Press Secretary, Terve Akase, said the APC sent the governor away from the party and he's officially looking for a new party to join.
He said, "He has not dumped the APC, it's the APC that has sent him away. That's official. The APC has sent him away, that's the true position.
"He is yet to make up his mind on which other platform to join. He has just told Benue people that he has just been sent away from the APC. In other words, he has been given a red card so he's looking for another club to join and very soon he'll make his decision known to the people."
Benue's troubled year
The governor has had a frosty relationship with the federal government in the past few months on the back of violent killings in the state which has led to the death of hundreds.
The governor has repeatedly accused the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore of sponsoring cattle herders to kill residents of rural communities, claiming in May 2018 that an estimated 492 people had been killed by herdsmen.
The governor's several public calls have been ignored by the federal government and the governor's frustration has been public knowledge for months. The People's Democratic Party (PDP) has openly courted the governor, urging him to dump the ruling party as he bids for a second term in office.