The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, on Wednesday, said that he was withholding his support for the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 general election, Atiku Abubakar, saying that he is currently fasting and praying for God’s direction.
Ortom, who supported Wike’s presidential bid, said he was surprised that Atiku jettisoned the recommendations of the 14 out of 17 members of the committee that picked Wike as his running mate ahead of Governor Okowa, saying that they deserved a detailed explanation from the presidential candidate.
This was made known by Ortom on Wednesday while answering questions on an Arise Television programme, The Morning Show, which was monitored by Nairametrics.
Says PDP didn’t give Wike the opportunity
He said, “Some of us believe that Wike has the capacity but Nigerians or let me say the PDP people did not give him the opportunity. Some of us rooted for him. I was amongst the 17-member committee that was set up by the candidate himself and the party and some of us said that for the vice presidency of the party, we needed Wike to be the vice president so that he can bridge the gap.
- “We (the committee) said it does not matter whether he supported the presidential candidate or not, all we are looking for is unity and how we can make things work. Unfortunately, it was said that it is Governor Ifeanyi Okowa who is also a PDP member. And that is the wisdom of the presidential candidate.
- “Some of us have resorted back to prayers because I am really confused. I felt that Wike would have been the vice-presidential candidate of the party after losing the presidential ticket to Atiku. He was the second person to Atiku and Wike has the charisma.
- “All of us have our weak spots. Wike can be ‘something something’, but when it comes to mobilisation, impact, value addition and reaching out, and making sure that the party works, Wike is an instrument. Wike is somebody who stood for the party and makes sure that things work.
- “So, for some of us, we believe in him but unfortunately, it was somebody else and it doesn’t matter because the party is supreme. But for some of us, now I have resorted to prayers and if you haven’t seen me in Turkey, it is because I am praying.
- “I have resorted to prayers: Lord God, where do we go from here? Where is our country going and what is our problem? I tell you as a Christian, that I believe that power belongs to God. John 3:27 says “A man can receive nothing except it is given to him from above”. If God says it is Atiku and if God says it is whoever, that is all.”
On if he supports Atiku’s presidential aspiration, Ortom said, “I told you that I am praying. I have gone into hibernation and I am fasting and praying, so in the end, if God directs me as he has always done if God directs me that I should support Atiku Abubakar, why should I not do it? After all, he is my party man.
News continues after this ad
- ‘’But I am waiting for him, there are more that is expected, I expect him to reach out to Wike who came second and he denied him the popular view of PDP members, 14 out of 17, said that Wike should be the VP. In his wisdom, he chose that it should be Governor Okowa. Governor Okowa is a nice man and is my friend and I have no problem with him.
- ‘’If we are in a democratic era and 14 people out of 17 said that it should be Wike and he in his wisdom gave it to Okowa, I expect more explanation, I expect him to talk to Wike first that we are supporting, I expect him to even reach out to some of us so that together we can work as a party.
- ‘’So that the bottom line is that for me I have gone into hibernation and I am praying and at the end whatever God direct me, I can assure you I will do it.’’
What you should know
- Recall that on June 16, 2022, Atiku Abubakar, announced Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, as his running mate in the 2023 presidential election.
- Atiku on his choice said that the vice-presidential candidate is an asset to his campaign and will ensure victory at the polls in 2023, noting that he shares a lot of personality attributes in common with Okowa, He said he is a fine gentleman, but tenacious.