By Chimezie Godfrey
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has explained that he did not at any point promised to anoint his former Chief of Staff, Hon. Terwase Orbunde or any other aspirant as his successor.
The Governor made the clarification Wednesday, May 4th, 2022 when stakeholders from the Kwande intermediate area paid him a solidarity visit at the Benue People’s House, Makurdi.
He said the clarification became necessary to dismiss insinuations by the former Chief of Staff that he had betrayed him after the party zoned the governsorship position to Vandeikya.
“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,” he querried.
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 election.
Governor Ortom also denied ever receiving any amount from the former Chief of Staff in the course of his governorship campaigns either in 2015 or 2019 as he has claimed.
He noted that the private letter Hon. Orbunde wrote and brought to him in company of two elders from Kwande and Ushongo demanding for a refund of the sum of N160 million 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.”
He called on “those who are close to him (Orbunde) should 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.”
On the forthcoming party primary elections into various elective positions, the Governor assured that a level playing field would be provided for those who have been cleared to participate in the exercise as any form of rigging would be met with stiff resistance.