B arring any unforseen circumstance, the Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, will, on Monday (tomorrow), take control of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state.
Our correspondent gathered that the process of taking control of the party had been concluded at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja.
A source informed our correspondent that the takeover might be in furtherance of the submission of the national chairman of the party, Uche Secondus, during his visit to Benue, where he declared that as governor of the state, Ortom had become the leader of the party in the state.
“It is in the PDP constitution that the governor should automatically be the leader of the party in the state it (the party) controls,” the source added.
Reacting to the development, a former governor of the state, Dr Gabriel Suswam, who corroborated SUNDAY PUNCH’s findings, said the control of the party by Ortom was in line with the party constitution but it did not mean that the party structure had been handed over to the governor.
The former governor said, “The governor taking control of the party does not mean that they have given him the party structure. What we are saying is that since he is the governor, he should look after the party. It doesn’t mean anything; the structure is still as it is.
“He takes control of the party but the structure we have on the ground remains; that is what the PDP constitution says.
“They wanted 60 percent of the structure and gave 40 per cent to us. The existing structure is intact.”
According to the ex-governor, Ortom having control of the party will enable him to express himself as the incumbent governor.
Meanwhile, Ortom has joined the list of governorship aspirants in the state who picked the nomination form of the PDP.
Other governorship aspirants as of Friday were a former commissioner in the state, John Tondo, and a former Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Paul Orhi.
Our correspondent, on Saturday, observed that the former regional editor of the defunct Concord Newspaper and retired permanent secretary in the state, Dr Telumun Nyitse, also picked a form.
The PDP, which began the sale of nomination forms into various elective offices on Thursday, is scheduled to stop the sale on Wednesday.
Similarly, some senatorial aspirants, including Suswam; erstwhile minister of Interior, Abba Moro; Senator Barnabas Gemade; and Joseph Ojobo, picked nomination forms.
Moro, who spoke to our correspondent on Friday, said a group of professionals in his senatorial district decided to purchase the form for him.
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