A Benue pressure group, Tiv Youth Advancement Vanguard (TYAV), has accused Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, of plotting to imprison his predecessor, Sen. Gabriel Suswam over his percieved ambition to retain the structure of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state ahead of 2023 general elections.
The group cited the refusal of Suswam to handover the PDP ticket to Ortom in 2015 and the fears that he could want to anoint a candidate for the governorship in 2023 which is likely to emerge from his senatorial zone.
The group alleged that the governor has been lobbying the anti-graft agencies to ensure that Suswam goes to prison over alleged cases of corruption against him while he served as governor of the state for eight years.
It would be recalled that Governor Ortom was denied the PDP primary ticket for the 2015 general election; he later defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) and won the election but returned to the PDP before the end of his first term in office.
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The group, in a statement signed by its Convener, Tyohemba Denen, expressed worry that the governor’s vindictive posturing was not in the interest of the state but his personal ambition that could deprive the Benue North East senatorial zone of representation in the Senate.
He alleged further that, though the governor toned down his vendetta against Suwam to get support for his second term bid, he is now using cronies to stoke up fire for cases of corruption he instigated against him.
The Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the governor, Terver Akase, asked the public to disregard the accusations, describing it as efforts of opposition to discredit the governor.
He said: “Their target is simply to cause disaffection within our camp led by Governor Samuel Ortom and three Senators Gabriel Suswam, Abba Moro and Orkev Jev, as well as several other stakeholders.
“The Governor has a very cordial relationship with Senator Suswam. Remember that PDP won the governorship, presidential and seven seats of the House of Representatives. So Benue is PDP and these people are afraid of 2023. They are trying to make sure that our camp are divided but they would fail.”
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