2023: Influential PDP Governor Speaks on Plan to Select His Successor as He Eyes Senate

2023: Influential PDP Governor Speaks on Plan to Select His Successor as He Eyes Senate

  • Governor Samuel Ortom on Wednesday, May 4, said he never promised Terwase Orbunde, his former chief of staff or anyone that they would succeed him as number one person in Benue
  • The governor debunked the claim during a meeting with some stakeholders from the Kwande intermediate area of the state
  • According to Ortom, the stakeholders from the state would be allowed the opportunity to select the candidate to brighten the chances of the party winning the election in 2023

The governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom, has denied a claim that he had promised his former chief of staff a position as his successor in the state.

Ortom explained that contrary to speculations about who his successor would be, he did not at any point promise to anoint his former chief of staff, Terwase Orbunde or any other aspirant a position as Benue state governor.

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Benue state governor, 2023 election, PDP, politics in Benue, Samuel Ortom
Ortom said he never promised his former chief of staff that he would make him a governor in 2023. Photo: Samuel Ortom
Source: Facebook

A statement which was released by Nathaniel Ikyur, the chief press secretary to the governor on Wednesday, May 4, and seen Legit.ng said the governor made the clarification during a meeting with stakeholders from the Kwande intermediate area.

Speaking to the stakeholders who paid him a solidarity visit at the Benue People's House, Makurdi, the governor admitted that the clarification became necessary to dismiss insinuations by Orbunde that he (Ortom) had betrayed him after the party zoned the governorship position to Vandeikya.

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Recounting his meeting with Orbunde shortly before he became the governor of Benue state, Ortom revealed that he had approached his former chief of staff to lead his governorship campaign.

His words:

"Terwase is my brother and friend. We have come a long way. That is why God told me in 1995 that he (Orbunde) will anchor my governorship campaign.

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"So I came from Zaria where I was in school to inform him. When it was time, he joined me in 2015 to actualise my dream."
"I never promised Orbunde or any of the aspirants that they will succeed me. I am not God to annoint anyone to be governor. That is why I have allowed the process to be followed diligently. How could I have promised him that I will make him governor."

How Benue would choose its next governor

He further explained that with his vast experience in politics, coupled with the guidance from God, he has to allow the stakeholders to select the candidate to brighten the chances of the party winning the election.

Ortom also denied ever receiving any amount from the former chief of staff in the course of his governorship campaigns either in 2015 or 2019 as he has claimed.

He noted that the private letter Orbunde wrote and brought to him in the company of two elders from Kwande and Ushongo showed a demand for the refund of the sum of N160 million from the sale of his house in Abuja.

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According to the governor, the fact that Orbunde later leaked the letter to the social media came to him as a shock.

He stressed that Orbunde never gave him money during the governorship campaigns and further called on those close to him (Orbunde) to put him in their prayers.

Ortom said:

"Those who are close to him (Orbunde) should pray for him. There is an assignment he said God sent him to do. He should go back to complete that assignment. I am sure God will uplift him.

On the forthcoming party primary elections into various elective positions, the governor assured that a level playing field would be provided for those who have been cleared to participate in the exercise.

He added that any form of rigging or electoral misconduct would be met with stiff resistance by the state government.

2023: Gov Samuel Ortom’s former chief of staff joins APC

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A major stakeholder in Benue state Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had left the party for the All Progressives Congress (APC) to further his political ambitions.

Terwase Orbunde, the immediate past chief of staff to Governor Samuel Ortom moved to the APC.

Recently Orbunde left the ruling party in the state after a political arrangement by the PDP shut him out of the forthcoming guber race.

Governor Ortom reads Riot Act to politicians, electorates in Benue ahead of 2023 election

Governor Ortom of Benue state had earlier issued a Riot Act to all politicians and electorates in the state.

The governor said that his administration will not tolerate any form of electoral misconduct or illegality in the forthcoming 2023 general elections in the state.

According to Ortom, those who engage in electoral misconduct would be severely dealt with by the state government.

Source: Legit.ng

Authors:
Nnenna Ibeh avatar

Nnenna Ibeh Nnenna Ibeh is a journalist with over 10 years of experience with various media organisations including Premium Times. Being on the front burner of reporting politics and the different dimensions of governance, she is also passionate about girls' education and women's and children's health. With degrees in Journalism, Peace Studies & Conflict Res., and Dev. Studies, Nnenna has worked in the dev. sector as a communications officer for the Centre for Democracy and Dev. email: ibehnnenna@gmail.com

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