For a while Benue has been agog with political activity especially centering around who succeeds Gov. Gabriel Suswam and his fate after his eight year long sojourn at the food basket government house.
The battle to replace Suswam seems fiercest, not only in this dispensation but in the history of the state. With a total of 18 aspirants in contention after a preliminary over 21, it records the highest number ever.
However singled out and most popular of these is former Minister for Aviation and Minister of state for Trade and Investment, Chief Samuel Ortom. Since his signification of interest for the race and his subsequent entrance, he has become an item.
An old timer and grass roots politician who is greatly financially endowed, he is the talk and toast of many. Unfortunately, Ortom’s fame and popularity seems to be his albatross as it may have put some fear in the hearts of many especially the state governor.
Watchers believe that Suswam’s fear of Ortom can not be unconnected to his scepticism and unbelief of the former minister’s continued loyalty.
Many have severally stated that Suswam whose stay in office has been one of so many fraud allegations, may want a close loyal ally to succeed him, like his predecessor and fellow governors.
It is also common knowledge that Suswam is afraid that karma may befall him as repayment for his engagement with predecessor Sen. George Akume, whom they are since estranged.
Gov. Gabriel Suswam on the other hand is angling to advance to the red chambers after completion of his executive duties as governor.
However easy as this may sound, he may be fighting a determinant battle as his greatest hurdle, erstwhile perceived a no battle- the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), ticket has taken a u-turn.
Suswam is contesting in the PDP against former PDP national Chairman and board of trustees member, Sen. Barnabas Gemade, who is also fighting to retain his seat.
According to reports of yesterday’s alleged meeting between President Goodluck Jonathan and senators from the party, where the governors were given an option of either going to senate and relinquishing the powers to choosing a successor or vice versa.
If the above reports are anything to go by, the state governor will be left with the devil’s alternative of forfeiting his right to choosing a successor to ensure his senatorial ambition, thereby allowing the best man win the party’s primaries and in effect free Ortom of psychological trauma.
Meanwhile the situation is one of Siamese twins where one must make way for another to live.