•12 APC gov’ship aspirants to fight for 1,517 delegates’ votes in Benue
By Peter Duru
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has informed that all aspirants on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who obtained the party’s forms and got screened, would slug it out at the forthcoming primaries to secure the ticket of the party in the state ahead of the 2023 general elections.
This came as 12 governorship aspirants have been cleared to fight for the over 1,517 delegates’ votes in the All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship primaries scheduled for this Friday.
Meanwhile, Governor Ortom assured all the PDP aspirants in the primaries of fairness and transparency.
Ortom who gave the assurance at the enlarged caucus meeting of the party held Sunday in Makurdi pointed out that he had no anointed candidate for any of the elective positions.
He stated that “in compliance with the amended Electoral Act, 2022, all aspirants who obtained nomination forms and have been screened are free to participate in the primaries.”
The Governor reaffirmed his readiness to support and work with candidates that emerge at the primaries, saying the victory of the party in the 2023 polls was his major concern.
He cautioned against blackmail, stressing that “no aspirant should think of using thugs to cause confusion during the party primaries because anyone caught will be decisively dealt with.”
Governor Ortom dispelled insinuations that the party was disunited in the state, pointing out that he enjoys a smooth working relationship with the National Chairman and all critical stakeholders of the party.
The Governor directed the party Chairman in the state to furnish all aspirants with the comprehensive list of delegates who would participate in the process.
On APC, among the aspirants that successfully underwent the screening of the party in the state were Catholic Priest, Reverend Father Hyacinth Alia, Senator Barnabas Gemade, Prof. Terhemba Shija, former Chief of Staff to Governor Samuel Ortom, Terwase Orbunde and Dr. Matthias Byuan.
Others include former Minister of State for Niger Delta, Dr. Sam Ode, former deputy governor of the state, Steven Lawani, a serving member of House of Representatives, Heman Hembe, former Anthony General of the Federation, Mike Aondoakaa, Mr. Bernard Yisa, Dr. Terlumun Ikya and Godwin Tyoachimin.
The APC State Publicity Secretary and Organising Secretary, Dan Ihomun and James Orgunga respectively disclosed that the party “has cleared the 12 aspirants and the 1,517 delegates will decide who becomes the party flag-bearer on Friday.
“We have over 1,380 elected delegates, including statutory delegates made up of former Assembly members, former governors, Senators, the party Chairmen at the Local Government Areas, 36 State Executive members who would make up the 1,517 delegates that would vote at the governorship primaries,” the duo said.