- The claim by a former chief of staff of Benue state that the governor, Samuel Ortom, borrowed some money for his campaign has been debunked
- Terwase Orbunde has claimed that he invested N160 million into Governor Ortom's 2015 election campaign
- Calling for the repayment of the investment, Orbunde said he needed the money to sort out some of his pressing family issues
The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has denied borrowing money from his former Chief of Staff, Terwase Orbunde, to pursue his 2015 governorship elections.
Orbunde had in a letter dated April 16, 2022, requested that the governor reimbursed him to the tune of N160 million, which he claimed he "invested" in Ortom's governorship campaign in All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2014.
The former chief of staff claimed that the amount was a proceed of his property in Wuye, Abuja which he allegedly sold at that time.
Orbunde added that he would be needing the money to move his family out of the official apartments given to him in Commissioner's Quarters, Makurdi.
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However, in his response to Orbunde's claim, Ortom denied knowledge of any "investment" to the tune of N160 million in his 2015 campaigns from his erstwhile chief of staff.
Ortom in his reply dated April 23, added that even though he was obliged to offer any kind of help to Orbunde, just as he has always been doing, he never received or collected any money from Orbunde.
The letter read in part:
"The fact that we worked together in 2014 to realize my Governorship ambition cannot be over-emphasised.
"However, as the Chief visioner, I was always aware and in control of all the interventions from friends and associates aimed at prosecuting my elections and such were always acknowledged."
"I really cannot recall when we discussed and you made available or invested the sum of One hundred and sixty million naira (N160,000,000.00) in my campaign or election in 2015 or at any other time at all."
"I am rather surprised that this appeal for reimbursement is coming after seven (7) years of my becoming governor of Benue state and therefore, I consider same as made in bad faith, to say the least."
Orbunde, a native of Kwande local government area, after resigning his appointment as Ortom's chief of staff late last year, went into the contest for Benue state governorship in the 2023 elections.
He was, however, not favoured in the just concluded consensus arrangements by the Tiv stakeholders, as the position was rather zoned to the neighbouring Vandeikya local government area, with the Speaker of Benue House of Assembly, Titus Uba emerging from the area.
Benue south: Let's leverage on youthful agility to serve Nigerians, aspirant says
An aspirant of the Nigerian Senate had said that the inclusion of young people in governance is key to Nigeria's development.
Bright Ogaji who is aspiring for the Zone C, Benue south senatorial seat at the Tenth Senate made the disclosure while meeting with stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party.
According to Ogaji, a people with a common goal to lead Nigeria on the right path is also important.
2023: Ortom committed to Idoma-speaking successor, says Benue youth forum
Governor Samuel Ortom had been hailed for his commitment to handing over to an Idoma-speaking successor in 2023.
This was the position of the Benue Youth Forum when the group challenged another forum in a state of insincerity.
The forum, Benue Rebirth Movement, had suggested Governor Ortom is not interested in a power shift to the state's southern senatorial district.