Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has dismissed the alleged split within the ranks of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state.
Unconfirmed report indicated that some governorship aspirants on the platform of the party had started making overtures to another party following the party’s zoning arrangement that did not favour them.
The PDP in the state had last week micro-zoned the governorship seat to Vandeikya and Otukpo Local Government Areas of the state.
The development had foreclosed the aspiration of some frontline governorship hopefuls, such as the immediate past Chief of Staff to the Governor, Terwase Orbunde, and a former Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Dr Paul Orhi, among others.
While the Deputy Governor, Benson Abounu, emerged as the consensus candidate from Benue South Senatorial District, (Idoma land), the Tiv extraction which had zoned the ticket to Vandeikya is expected to produce its consensus candidate on Thursday.
The party’s standard bearer will later emerge between the Idoma and Tiv consensus candidates at the party primary holding in May.
Speaking on Tuesday, Ortom stated that the PDP remains one big family despite the ongoing consultation towards picking a consensus candidate for the forthcoming elections.
In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Nathaniel Ikyur, the governor described the rumoured split in the party’s rank as ‘unfounded gossip’ that doesn’t deserve ‘response with an official seal but for the sake of the less knowledgeable about the political dynamics of the Benue State.
The statement read, “For the avoidance of doubt, all stakeholders in the PDP family led by Governor Ortom have been meeting and consulting on all elective positions and the best way possible to produce candidates for the 2023 elections. This is to avoid rancour and maintain a harmonious political family.
“The essence is to achieve consensus and run an inclusive party where everyone would be carried along as a stakeholder.
“In all the meetings so far, it has been more like a family affair under a convivial atmosphere and there has not been any case of disagreement or altercation of any kind.”