Kinsmen of Prof. Tor Iorapuu, the Dean of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Jos (Unijos), have thrown their weight behind his aspiration to govern Benue State as he prepares for the forthcoming 2019 general elections on the platform of the PDP.
Prof. Iorapuu’s governorship aspiration got the boost after a mock election, said to have been conducted by his kinsmen from the PDP bloc in the four local governments of Gwer-East, Gwer-West, Makurdi and Guma, popularly known as MINDA political elders, with the intention to prune the number of aspirants from the area ahead of the party’s primary election.
Daily Trust gathered that the university don topped the elders’ choice from Gwer-East, closely followed by a former Vice Chancellor of the Benue State University, Prof. David Ker, and a labour union leader, Com. Patrick Anchaver, while Engr. Felix Atume was said to have emerged from Gwer-West.
A media campaign officer of the gubernatorial hopeful, Andrew Oota, said, “There was a mock election conducted by the PDP elders from Gwer-East Local Government Area and Prof. Tor Iorapuu emerged victorious.”
Oota said the idea of the mock election was basically an internal arrangement to prune down the number of aspirants from across the four local governments areas which made up the MINDA bloc of the Tiv-speaking people of Benue State.
However, the state Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Bemgba Iortyom, said the party was not aware of any such arrangement or the elders who conducted the mock election for the emergence of some aspirants under its platform, adding that the outcome of any such exercise was not binding on the aspirants.
Iortyom said the PDP would give all its governorship aspirants a level-playing ground in order to avoid sowing any seed of discord among them as the party looked forward to win all elections in the state in 2019.