Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Stakeholders Urge Ortom to Seek Alternative Platform

Meanwhile, over 250 major stakeholders across the state were said to have called on Dr Samuel Ortom’s Governorship Campaign Organization to explore the possibility of an alternative platform for the realization of his aspiration.

   Such principal stakeholders include former national and state assembly members, state executive council members, council chairmen, party chieftains, women and youth groups, among others.

   At a meeting in Makurdi yesterday, some of the stakeholders also advised the former minister to continue to explore opportunities in the PDP.

   In another development, a governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Hingah Biem, has described as spurious the speculation that he was demoted while in the Benue State Civil Service.

   Nevertheless, Biem told The Guardian that such report would not affect his ambition, as his purported demotion from salary Grade Level 16 to 15 following the recommendation of the Justice Margaret Kpojime Judicial Commission of Enquiry that investigated the award of contract to Artex Investments Limited for the supply of transmitters to Radio Benue during the military regime was immediately reversed.

   He recalled that trouble started when Radio Benue could not give full live coverage to the swearing-in ceremony of then Governor George Akume due to failed transmitters, so he was demoted by a grade level on recommendation, but Akume reviewed it through the then Head of Service, Mr. Theophilus Adzaager.

   Biem said his letter to Akume, which centered on the need for the governor to consider that he acted on the orders of a military administrator who recommended the contractor, attracted sympathy when presented to Akume on February 13, 2002. Consequently, he was reinstated as director.

   Addressing them during the meeting, the campaign’s director-general, Mr. Tsenongo Abancha, and adviser, Mr. Terwase Orbunde, said that following the ominous signs from the PDP that its leaders would be unable to address complaints arising from the recent PDP ward congresses in the state, it was necessary to look outward.

   They said they had also received reliable information about a deliberate plan to exclude Ortom from the primaries hence the need to explore an alternative platform.

According to them, he remains the most popular aspirant in the state and the people look up to him to provide them the needed leadership to confront current challenges.

   Responding, Ortom assured that he would emerge victorious at the end of the day and enjoined his supporters not to antagonize anyone but rather trust God and move on to His righteous side, as is stated in his campaign anthem. He disclosed that he was still discussing with PDP leaders and would know his fate in the next few days.

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