By Peter Duru, Makurdi
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state has explained that he did not at any time anoint his former Chief of Staff, CoS, Mr. Terwase Orbunde or any other governorship aspirant as his successor.
The Governor who made the clarification when he hosted stakeholders from Kwande Local Government Area, LGA, who paid him solidarity visit in Makurdi said the explanation became necessary to dismiss insinuations by the former CoS that he had betrayed him after the party zoned the governsorship position to Vandeikya and not Kwande LGA where he hailed from.
It would be recalled that Mr. Orbunde had earlier in the week defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC, after failing to clinch the governorship ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the recently conducted zoning arrangement of the party.
The Governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Nathaniel lkyur noted that “Terwase is my brother and friend. We have come a long way. That is why God told me in 1995 that he (Orbunde) will anchor my governorship campaign. So I came from Zaria where I was in school to inform him. When it was time, he joined me in 2015 to actualise my dream.
“I never promised Orbunde or any of the aspirants that they will succeed me. I am not God to annoint anyone to be governor. That is why I have allowed the process to be followed diligently. How could I have promised him that I will make him governor?”
The Governor explained that with his vast experience in politics, coupled with the guidance from God, he had to allow the stakeholders to select the candidate to brighten the chances of the party winning the general election.
He also denied ever receiving any amount from the former CoS in the course of his governorship campaigns in 2015 or 2019 as he had claimed.
He explained that the private letter Mr. Orbunde wrote and brought to him in company of two elders from Kwande and Ushongo LGAs demanding for a refund of the sum of N160million from the sale of his house in Abuja, which he later leaked to the social media came to him as a shock, stressing that “Orbunde never gave me money during the governorship campaigns.
“I urge those who are close to him (Orbunde) to pray for him. There is an assignment he said God sent him to do. He should go back to complete that assignment. I am sure God will uplift him.”