By Peter Duru
Makurdi—The political battle for the soul of Benue State between the Senator George Akume-led All Progressives Congress, APC, and Governor Samuel Ortom of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has taken a dramatic turn as the kinsmen of the embattled senator of Jemgbagh extraction, comprising Gboko, Buruku and Tarka, yesterday, pledged their unalloyed support for the governor ahead of the 2019 elections.
Speaking in Makurdi during a courtesy call on the governor by Jemgagh Elders Forum of the PDP, leader of the delegation, Mr. Sam Tsumba, said the visit was to enable them register their solidarity with him and to welcome him back to his former party.
He said: “We have come to express the determination of Jemgbah to stand behind you, our governor, owing to your laudable performance in office and appointment of many of our sons into key positions, including Professor Anthony Ijohor as SSG and the acting chairman, Board of Internal Revenue Service, Mr Terzunwe Atser, which would garner support for you in our area.”
Others who spoke, including Elders Tarhule Nev, Ikyume Yongu and Mbakorlumun Chia for Buruku, Gboko and Tarka respectively, said they were solidly behind the governor to continue providing purposeful leadership for Benue people.
On his part, a chieftain of the PDP in the state, Prince Yandev Amaabai, said: “PDP is lucky to have a ‘prodigal son’ who was pushed out of his father’s house empty handed only to return with much wealth.”
They also acknowledged that the Open Grazing Prohibition Law of the state was a landmark that has helped in no small measure in ending the activities of militant herdsmen in the state.
The elders vowed to recall any of their representatives in the state Assembly who was involved in the illegal impeachment move against Governor Ortom.
Responding, Governor Ortom expressed appreciation to the people of Jemgbagh for their show of solidarity, pledging that he would continue to work with them to salvage the state.