Contrary to our earlier reports tipping Mrs Beckie Orpin as the likely winner of the Benue State House Assembly Speakership contest, a winner appears to have emerged in the person of Hon. Aondona Dajoh. Dajoh and Orpin are both of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In the first round of the keenly contested ballot, Hon. Aondona Dajoh scored 16 votes from the 32-member Assembly, while Hon. Mrs Beckie Orpiin scored 16, resulting in a tie. As of press time, AkweyaTV is yet to confirm how the second round of voting went in the Benue State House of Assembly.
Speakership is a keen contest in the current political equation in Benue as it has become pivotal to the survival of the new Governor Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia, who is widely believed to have been backed by former Governor George Akume to enable the former Governor to hold onto power through political puppetry.
It is unclear whether the rejection of Mrs Orpin resulted from a refusal by insiders to allow what is perceived as a script that could further stagnate Benue’s development. During the Samuel Ortom administration, the 9th Assembly led by Hon. Titus Ubah, unequivocally put itself at the beck and call of the Governor, leading to the passage of an ignominious and retrogressive pensions law for the Governor and his Deputy.
It would be recalled that sometime in January 2020, Akume, then Minister for Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, was accused by his protégé and now immediate past Governor, Samuel Ortom, of fraud.
“Be ready to refund the N2b you stole from the Benue state government’s purse when you were leaving office as governor in 2007 or prepare to face the law,” Samuel Ortom was quoted to have said in a leaked audio.