Benue will remain a PDP state after 2023, says Samuel Ortom
• Gov denies rift with Suswam
• Accuses opposition of plotting to undermine party
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State yesterday said that the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) would continue to hold sway in the state after the 2023 governorship poll.
Ortom, in a statement by his media aide, Mr. Terver Akase, accused members of the opposition parties of working underground to fan the embers of discord between him and chieftains of the PDP in the state.
The governor spoke while reacting to a claim by a pressure group, Tiv Youth Advancement Vanguard (TYAV), which accused him of plotting to imprison his predecessor, Gabriel Suswam, as part of the grand design to retain the structure of the PDP in the state ahead of 2023 poll.
TYAV, citing alleged refusal by Suswam to hand over the PDP ticket to Ortom in 2015, alleged that he was behind renewed moves by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to prosecute Suswam and imprison him over alleged corrupt practices while he held sway as governor of the state between 2007 to 2015.
Ortom faulted such notion, saying that he enjoys a harmonious relationship with Suswam and the entire chieftains of the party in the state.
According to him: “The statement is sponsored by the opposition. Their target is to cause disaffection within our camp ably led by Governor Samuel Orton and three senators, Gabriel Suswam, Abba Moro and Orkev Jev, as well as several other stakeholders.
“The governor has a very cordial relationship with Senator Suswam.
“The governor has no reason to move against Suswam. He didn’t have a hand in the petition to the EFCC against Suswam. The governor has a very cordial relationship with Suswam and both have mutual respect for each other. So, whatever these people have done would fail and the governor would continue to enjoy the support of the House of Representatives members and senators from Benue State. They are united and they would march to 2023 on a victorious note.
“I advise those fanning embers of discord to stop wasting their time. The PDP remains a united family in Benue State, and no matter how the opposition plots to cause disaffection within our ranks, they will fail.”
TYAV, in a statement by its Convener, Tyohemba Denen, expressed worry that the governor’s vindictive posturing was not in the interest of the state but his personal ambition that could deprive the Benue North East Senatorial zone of representation in the Senate.
It alleged further that though the governor toned down his vendetta against Suwam to curry support for his second term bid, he is now using cronies to stoke up fire for cases of corruption he instigated against him.