From Scholastica Hir, Makurdi

A group known as Concerned Benue PDP Stakeholders have distanced themselves from the statements allegedly made by the Publicity Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue State, Chief Bemgba Iortyom, in which he was said to have declared that the party may support President Bola Ahmed Tinubu come 2027 election.

President Tinubu won the 2023 general election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, (APC).

Speaking on behalf of the group in Makurdi on Tuesday, Prof Nicholas Ada, who said the stakeholders were reacting to the recent outing of the party’s publicity secretary on a Television station, condemned Iortyom’s claim that the leadership of the PDP in Benue may support President Tinubu in the 2027 presidential election for fairness and equity, as well as to balance the political equation in the country.

The group called on the Benue State Working Committee (SWC) of the party to discipline Iortyom since he was not mandated by the party to say so on its behalf.

Ada, who was flanked by a governorship aspirant in the 2023 elections, Dr Paul Ubwa, a former member of the Benue State House of Assembly, Dominic Ucha and former Chairman, Katsina-Ala LGA, Terfa Bosua among others, urged the SWC of the PDP to as a matter of urgency come up with its position on the statement concerning the 2027 presidential election.

While urging the party to set up a disciplinary committee to investigate the matter, Ada explained that the Stakeholders had at no point in time mandated the Publicity Secretary to choose a presidential candidate for it, arguing that the position was entirely his and not that of the party, because as an adult he was entitled to his own opinion.

The group insisted that the party was supreme and would decide who emerges as its candidates and would also support all her candidates including the presidential candidate that would be elected to fly its flag during the 2027 presidential election, not minding the part of the country the candidate emerges from.

The stakeholders noted that what the PDP needed most at this material time was the total overhaul and rebuilding of the party and not to argue over who gets the party’s support in an election that is three years away.

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Responding in a statement he titled, “Putting the Records Straight” the PDP Publicity Secretary, Chief Bemgba Iortyom noted that allegations against his person have been making the rounds, claiming among other things “that I am plotting to leave the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and that I am championing the re-election campaign of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in 2027.”

Iortyom said their claims were rather unfortunate adding that it was borne out of malice, lies and mischief against his person.

“For the records, I have no plans to leave the PDP, if I decide to do so, it won’t be a matter left to nocturnal conjecturing.

“I have served PDP with total commitment, conscientiously, courageously and sacrificially for 8 years in the highly demanding office of state spokesperson; I do not understand that rationally there is a demand for me to prove anything.

“So those peddling such opinions about me err on both moral and lawful grounds and sadly some of them are persons I have held in very high esteem.

“Regarding the allegation that I am championing the 2027 re-election campaign for President Tinubu, only one with basic comprehension problems or mischievous intentions, or a combination of both will seek to drive such a pathetic allegation, at least if my appearance on TVC is the focus.”

He challenged those making the allegations to point out a phrase or sentence where he had championed such a cause.

He stated: “I have since 2016 taken on the arduous task of promoting, defending and safeguarding the interests of the PDP in Benue State, as well as leading the Forum of my colleagues nationwide, I have undertaken critical and sensitive national assignments for the party, and I have not once been found wanting in the line of duty by my superiors.

“Malice, lies and mischief from shady, declining characters, some of whom held high offices at the pleasure of this great party, but failed themselves, the party, their communities and their families, may only last against my person for the span of a nighttime. I remain unshaken and immovable,” Iortyom said.

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