Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Chief Dr Samuel Ortom, who is also a governorship aspirant in Benue State, has been selected with three others, from a plethora of others seeking the same office, in a pruning exercise conducted by Minda PDP Elders Forum the result of which was announced in Makurdi earlier today.
Chief Dr Ortom had several months ago made a similar list in an exercise conducted by royal fathers under the aegis of the Tiv Area Traditional Council.
Chairman of the forum and former House of Representatives member, Honorable Cletus Upaa, announced at a meeting with 16 governorship aspirants and 70 elders from the axis at the Makurdi residence of Senator Fred Orti that Chief Dr Ortom was selected from Guma, former Speaker Terhemen Tarzoor from Makurdi, Engr Felix Atume, Gwer West and Alex Adum, Gwer.
He stated that the four have been advised to purchase governorship nomination forms and undergo the requisite screening by the party after which the forum would dialogue further to arrive at one aspirant to feature in the primaries.
But he did not disclose the basis for the selection.
Former permanent secretary in the Benue State civil service and Secretary of the forum, Chief Moses Anageende, explained in a telephone chat that the reasons were not given so that no one could use them against those not selected.
He assured however that he and the Chairman have been mandated to give explanations in camera to aspirants who demand to know why they were not selected.
Chief Anageende said the exercise was advisory and intended to minimize costs and maximize votes for the candidate that would be selected eventually in order to ensure that he picked the party’s ticket.
He said the forum expected the aspirants to accept the exercise in good faith since it was carried out transparently in the overall interest of the people of the area by party members who unanimously accepted the verdict.
The Secretary expressed appreciation to the people of the state for having arrived at the general consensus that the Minda political axis should produce the Governor of the state in the next dispensation.
Director General of the Professor David Ker Governorship Campaign Organization, Mr Richard Abu, stated that his principal who is the Chairman of Minda Forum of Governorship aspirants, had not accepted the exercise and would soon issue a statement on the issue.
Chief Dr Ortom and the other three could not be reached at the time of filing this report.