Thirteen governorship aspirants on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 elections in Benue State, yesterday opposed the return moves by Governor Samuel Ortom to their party.The aspirants who addressed a press conference in Abuja, noted that while they were not against the return of defectors; they were against the defection of people with negative values and mileage to the party.
The aspirants who spoke under the aegis of Forum of Governorship Aspirants, vowed to resist any attempt to truncate the internal democratic process that has characterised the Benue chapter of the party in the past few years.
They added that if the PDP is to take the state from the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC effort must be intensified to nip in the bud, what they termed the plot to shortchange the party’s executive in the state.
Chairman of the forum, Professor David Ker in his speech tasked the state chapter of the party to walk in fidelity with its promise of a free and fair primaries, noting that anything short of that would spell doom for the PDP.
“We reiterate that a level playing field for a free, fair and transparent primary election which has been promised us by the Benue state leadership of the PDP remains the only option by which the party could credibly and successfully nominate a governorship candidate in the 2019 governorship election if indeed the party is serious at recapturing power from the present APC-controlled government in the state.
“ While we may not oppose any group or individuals from joining and participating in the affairs of the party in the state, we are strongly opposed to a purported unilateral decision to dissolve the executives of the party at all levels in the state to accommodate or give undue advantage to any group or person angling to join the party “ he said, warning that an form of imposition would be “resisted by all of us, the 13 governorship aspirants.”
PDP governorship candidate in 2015, Terhemen Tarzoor, said Ortom’s credibility has reached an all-time low, having been shown the ‘red card’ by the APC.
He added “We are sensitive to the value and character of the people joining the PDP. We won’t sit down and watch people of negative value join the party; someone who has not paid salaries for one year and four months.
“When a person is chased out of a party, it speaks much about that person and what he represents, “ Tarzoor added.
One of the aspirants, John Tondu said: “The governor of Benue state today is a liability, not an asset. He is not welcome.
“Because of the love we have for the people of Benue state, anything that will cripple our plan to take over the state should not be tolerated.”