Dr. Paul Orhii sold his campaign billboards to Senator Barnabas Germade to raise funds for treatment.
Paul Orhii, a PDP Gubernatorial Aspirant in Benue state, is fighting for his life after he was poisoned a day to the party’s governorship primaries.
Mr. Orhii, a former Director General of NAFDAC is also been facing stiff criticisms for selling all his campqign billboards to Senator Barnabas Germade, a APC leader in the state, In defending the action, Orhii said he had no intentions of spiting or attacking the party or anyone but had to make the move in order to raise money to pay his hospital bills.
Read his statement below;
“Since the issue of the sale of my billboards to Chief Senator Gemade has generated so much unnecessary political heat, especially for those who might have paid for the billboards and for those who are so concerned about my political future, I feel that I should state my own side just for the records.
I met His Excellency Dr Gabriel Suswam for the first time in 2006 when he visited me in Houston to consult on his Governorship project. I was then working with Professor Hagher and I frankly told him so. But then I so much liked him as a person and because we enjoyed each other’s company, and still do, we became very close friends and that friendship extended to our families. Therefore when he won the Gubernatorial Primaries in 2006 it was easy for me to agree to work for his election. I mobilized myself from Houston, arrived Benue, borrowed a very old car from a family friend and started following him around for the campaigns. Sometimes the car would stop on the way and I would fix it and meet them later. Luckily he won that election in 2007 and became the Governor. I went back to Houston. However luckily for me some circumstances played out and a friend from Houston, Dr Kase Lukman Lawal, an oil magnet introduced me to President Yar-Adua. With the help of this my very good friend, my Late Uncle His Lordship Justice Katsina-Alu, my Brother Chief Kaase Aondoakaa, SAN, who was then the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, and of course with the full approval of my friend, H.E. Dr Gabriel Suswam President Yar Adua later appointed me the DG NAFDAC. Naturally when I moved back to Nigeria my friendship with Gov. Suswam became even stronger and the two of us became more inseparable. When the time for his re-election came in 2011 I massively contributed, financially, morally, etc to enable him win that very tight race. I again massively supported him in 2015 for his Senate bid. Unfortunately we could not win. But we have remained the best of friends. It goes without saying that if I supported my friend Suswam in 2007 to win governorship, then supported him again in 2011 to win re-election and again supported his Senatorial bid in 2015, it was not totally unreasonable for me to expect him to support me in the only election that I had decided to run. Unfortunately due to circumstances that I came to understand were clearly beyond his control he could not support me in my gubernatorial bid, which I fully understand.
Therefore I did not sell my billboards to Chief Senator Gemade as my show of support against Suswam as is being speculated. Or to spite H.E. Suswam. The truth of the matter is that I arrived Makurdi two days before the Gubernatorial Primaries. The very next day, which was the eve of the primaries I was poisoned. That is why I was not even able to go out and greet the delegates when they arrived Makurdi, even though I had paid money for their transportation, booked and paid their accommodation for many of the delegations in Makurdi. I was actually on drips fighting for my life while my co-aspirants were going out there to meet and greet the delegates. I managed to go to the field the next morning but had to rush back to bed after the event. Everybody moved on as there were other primaries scheduled in other towns across the state and I was left there with no money and just a few friends and family members to fend for myself.
It was at this point that Mr Tyover Atetan, an aide to Chief Gemade reached me that Chief Gemade was offering to buy my billboards. At this point it was a matter of life and death as I badly needed money for my treatment and survival and was so glad to take the offer because I could never even have imagined that someone would offer me money for the billboards. So we made a deal and Chief Gemade promptly transferred the money to my account which enabled me to go to Lagos for treatment. It is quite unfortunate that people who would have loved to see me die from the poison are so peeved that I managed to sell my billboards to enable me afford treatment when they thought I had been abandoned to die from poisoning. But thank God I survived. I will be leaving for the USA next week for more detailed medical checks to make sure that no residue of the poison is still in my system. I still need more money and would appreciate any assistance.
Unknown to these people I am still very good friends with Suswam. He explained to me and I fully understand why he could not be there for me when I needed his political backing. Despite our tight schedules we still communicate almost on a daily basis. He knows that I still support his Senatorial ambition 100%.
In any case most of these people criticizing my decision should understand that as a full grown adult I have the right to chose friends, chose which politicians to support and even to chose political parties, and we have 91 of them. It is out of my personal choice that I have chosen to support Suswam or even to continue to stay in the PDP despite all the injustice that was done to me. I contributed massively to building the PDP and have financially supported many of its candidates since 2007, only to almost get killed just for coming out to offer myself for service to the state.
I hope this my side of the story should put all these stories to rest, at least in the minds of reasonable fair-minded persons. Those who know me know that I do not go two ways. My yes is yes. My no is no. If I am with you I am with you. I don’t know how to support one person or one party in the day time and another person and another party at night.