The recent meeting between the Tiv paramount Traditional Ruler, Dr Akawe Torkula and Benue PDP Governorship aspirants is generating deep tension in the state’s polity as the short-list has seemingly destabilized some front runners and marginalized the Idoma.
The short list obtained by Scan News has four Tiv aspirants of the MINDA geopolitical extraction.
They include: Former Benue Assembly Speaker, Prince Terhemen Tarzoor, (Makurdi LGA) Minister of State for Trade and Tourism, Dr Samuel Ortom, (Guma LGA) Former Permanent Secretary, Hingah Biem (Gwer LGA) and Engr Felix Atume (Gwer West LGA).
The biggest casualties of the short listing exercise are Dr Eugene Aliegba, former commissioner, Dr Tivlumun Nyitse, former permanent secretary, Government House, and outsider, deputy governor Steven Lawani who stood no chance any way being Idoma.
Other aspirants like Sam Ode, former Minister whose mother is Tiv and Harris Ogbole, son of a retired High Court are waiting for deputy governorship nomination. They are both Idoma and lack the prime credential to govern Benue State, being Tiv.
It must be stated that the list excludes APC aspirants. However, under the present calculations, APC can only have a good showing, but is unlikely to upset PDP in Benue.
There is tension in the political system because Tor Tiv short list played a key role in the emergence of outgoing Governor Suswam.
Then Governor Akume was in a quagmire on who to select amongst two aspirants, Suswam and Prof Iorwuese Hagher, his former DG Re-election Campaign Organization. The Tor Tiv and his chiefs had a conclave and they settled for Suswam.
Hagher kicked and penned damning petitions against the Tor Tiv. His protests yielded no fruits as Akume went for the Tor Tiv’s candidate as PDP flagbearer. Suswam went ahead to win the election.
The current short list is expected to be prined down ahead of the PDP primaries.
Scan gathered that two candidates are having brighter chances than the others. They are: Prince Terhemen Tarzoor and Dr Samuel Ortom. Ortom, however carry the baggage of being former Governor Akume’s ex-yeoman. He has struggled desperately to shed this heavy weight.
On the other hand, Dr Eugene Aliegba is considered an aspirant with the brightest outside chance. He is being sponsored by Suswam’s kitchen cabinet led by the SA on LGA, Solomon Wombo. He has enough campaign resources, but carry the heavy luggage of earning two salaries from two public institutions.
Ejembi Ogwuche, press secretary to Benue State Deputy Governor decried the Tor Tiv conclave. But his opinion counts for nothing.