There are speculations that the Benue state Governor, Samuel Ortom may be on his way to the Social Democratic Party (SDP) from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) following the an agreement by the 12 governorship aspirants kicking against giving the governor an automatic ticket despite being in control as a serving governor of the state, Benue News.Ng alleged.
Recall Newsmen, reported that the 12 governorship aspirants earlier kicked against giving the governor a 60% control of the People’s Democratic Party structure in Benue state.
This comes barely one month after the Governor dumped the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the PDP over an alleged ‘red card’ issued him by the leadership of the APC in the state.
Since Governor Ortom’s entry into the PDP, there has been uneasy calm over his demand of an overhaul of the structure of the party in the state to give him a 60% advantage; a move that has been vehemently resisted by former Governor Gabriel Suswam and 12 other governorship aspirants under the platform of the PDP.
This animosity lead the national leadership of the PDP under the Chairmanship of Chief Uche Secondus, to constitute a commitee to resolve the issue, even amidst allegations that the national secretariat was more disposed to Governor Ortom being the flag bearer of the party in the 2019 gubernatorial elections in the state.
In a letter jointly signed by the 12 PDP governorship aspirants and sent to the commitee, the aggrieved candidates urged the national leadership of the party to jettison any arrangements that will jeopardize the success of the party in next year’s elections.
It read, “We the undersigned Governorship Aspirants on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue State, write, first to express our profound appreciation to the work your Committee is doing towards repositioning and strengthening our great party ahead of the 2019 elections.
“It is in recognition of this fact that we approach your office over issues which may come before you for determination, arising from the recent return to the party of Governor of the state, Samuel Ortom; Senator representing Benue North-East Senatorial District, Engr Barnabas Gemade, and others.
“Those are the issues of ongoing negotiations for concessions to the returnees in the form of ceding percentages of control of existing party structures in our state to them.
“May we state with all due respect that any such arrangements will not only disrupt the harmony and cohesion built in the party since 2015, but will also result in her certain defeat at the 2019 elections in the state.
“We are equally worried, Sir, that tampering with the existing structures of the party in the state to cede any percentages of control to the returnees will be a violation of the provisions sections 47, 57, 58 and 59 of the party’s Constitution (As Amended 2017) which provide for the election, tenure and removal of officers of the party, leading to possible litigation which will not be in the best interest of the party.”
Following a meeting the aggrieved aspirants, Governor Ortom and other party leaders in the state including Ex-Governor Gabriel Suswam, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu and Senator David Mark, the commitee urged them to look inward for amicable solution to the issue, as such a solution does not exist anywhere outside of the state.
The committee Chairman, Senator Liyel Imoke, also directed the Benue party leaders to submit a preliminary report on their local integration arrangements in a couple of days.
The resolution is understood to not favour Governor Samuel Ortom because the current party structure is under the control of Suswam who is weary about the re-election ambition of the Governor.
However, Governor Ortom is said to have sensed this outcome and had already sent emissaries into the Benue Chapter of the SDP, with rumours of a huge donation to the national secretariat of the party.
” The governor has hijacked one of the three factions of SDP in Benue state along Senator Gemade. Gemade and Ortom have one faction, one former House of rep member has another faction while the state Chairman, Engineer John Enemeri has the remaining”, said a source that pleaded anonymity.
The source further explained that members of the party were watching developments in the PDP closely knowing that the Governor’s next point of call would be the SDP.