Sunday, 21 December 2014

Benue2015: Ortom tears Benue APC apart

The primary elections of the two leading parties in Benue State, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, may have come and gone, but the fallout of that process has certainly left sour taste in the mouths of most of the aspirants in the APC.

The APC in the state is in turmoil and the reason for this may not be far fetched. Virtually all the aspirants who lost out in that contest are crying foul and even going as far as threatening to sabotage whatever chances the party may have in the forthcoming general elections.
Their anger arose from the fact that a former Minister of State in the Ministry of Trade and Investment, Dr. Samuel Ortom, was allegedly foisted on the party, as its governorship candidate, by the leaders of the party in the state.
Ortom, who, until some weeks ago, was a leading member of the ruling PDP, was compelled to jump ship after losing out at the party’s governorship primary in Makurdi.
His defection to the APC was somewhat a welcome development for the leaders of the party in the state, especially the Senate Minority Leader, Senator George Akume, who saw in him a candidate with the clout to galvanize the party in it’s quest to occupy the Benue Government House come 2015.

Hence, the APC leadership wasted no time in anointing him as the flag bearer of the party irrespective of the position of other gubernatorial aspirants who saw the decision as an attitude of superiority manifested and displayed in an overbearing manner.
Understandably, their agitation arose from the fact that they had, over a long period, traversed the entire state drumming support for their candidacy with the ultimate belief that having done the needful, the choice of who takes over the platform as flag bearer would be left in the hands of party faithful who, through APC’s laid down rules, would decide the fate of the aspirants.
However that was not to be. In fact, days to the governorship primary, the party was enmeshed in a legal dispute instituted by an aggrieved aspirant, Prof. Steve Ugba, who was excluded from the exercise on the grounds that he was not qualified to run in the election after buying the expression of interest and nomination forms of the party.
The suit was later discontinued, paving the way for the party to conduct its primary which had been shelved twice.
However, while the suit lingered, Ortom cashed in on the development; after losing at the PDP primary, resigned the ruling PDP and pitched his tent with the opposition APC where he was availed the ticket of the party by its leaders, on the basis of a contentious consensus agreement.
The decision drew the ire of other gubernatorial aspirants including Ugba, Emmanuel Jime and Senator Joseph Waku who vowed to fight to quash the arrangement.
The battle got to a head when Waku, in a radio announcement, dismissed the claim that Ortom emerged the party’s candidate through consensus.
According to him, “those spreading the false information were only trying to deceive members of the party because nothing like that was reached by key stakeholders of the party in the state.”
Waku insisted that no one had been chosen as the candidate of the APC through such an arrangement because no decision was taken to that effect by the party and those of them that were in the race for the party’s ticket.
“I therefore urge all my supporters to discountenance the information because I was not a party to that decision.”
On his part, Jime, who was regarded as the leading contender in the race for the APC ticket, also came out to renounce the action of the party and even went as far as threatening legal action.
Ugba, in his reaction, described the process leading to the endorsement of Dr. Ortom as unacceptable vowing to resist it.
While these aspirants were crying foul, the Media Adviser to Samuel Ortom Governorship Campaign Organization. Mr. Tahav Agezua, told Sunday Vanguard, in a text message, that his principal had already commenced his documentation in Abuja in order to fully assume his position as the APC governorship candidate in Benue.
In the message, he said, “Dr. Ortom, the APC consensus gubernatorial candidate, is in Abuja for documentation at the moment. He will hopefully complete the process by weekend and be back in the state.”

Meantime, while the opposition is caught in this web of quagmire and disenchanted, the ruling PDP has put its house in order after its gubernatorial primary election with most of the unsuccessful aspirants falling over heels to drum support for the candidacy of Prince Terhemen Tarzoor who emerged as the flag bearer of the party after the primary.

In fact, the PDP seems prepared to overrun the opposition in the state, and the party is going about it with so much panache and confidence.
Tarzoor has almost completed his thank you visit to members of the party in the state ahead of a well coordinator flag off of his campaigns.

However, whatever happens in the  coming days in the opposition camp will certainly give an inkling as to outcome of the general elections in Benue.

1 comment:

  1. Benue News Online has actually made available for some of us the opportunity to following happenings in Benue state. Thank you for the wonderful job