From Scholastica Onyeka, Makurdi
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has denied endorsing Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) alongside the G-5 governors for the 2023 election.
In a statement by his spokesperson, Terver Akase, yesterday, Ortom denied reports credited to him that the group comprising Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike; Oyo Governor, Seyi Makinde; Enugu and Abia Governors, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and Okezie Ikpeazu had resolved to work for Atiku Abubakar to win the 2023 election.
The Governor described the report as fictitious, false and mischievous and targeted at embarrassing the five governors who have chosen the path of justice, fairness and equity.
“Manufacturers of the said report were apparently on a desperate mission to score a cheap political point. The report could not mention the place and date of the said meeting of G-5 Governors. The writers only sought to take advantage of the crisis within the PDP for their selfish purposes. Governor Ortom and other members of the G-5 have not endorsed the said presidential candidate.
“When Governor Ortom met with the expanded state caucus of PDP on Monday, January 9, 2023 at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi, his message to them was crystal clear that the national leadership of PDP has failed to utilise its internal conflict resolution mechanism which has led to the crisis rocking the party. The Governor said during the meeting that if the crisis is not resolved before the elections, he would be left with no other option than to take a stand on the matter. He added however that he wouldn’t impose his decision on members of the party in the state. Stakeholders present at the meeting commended the Governor for his patriotic disposition and pledged to line up behind him,” Akase said.
“Those who spoke on behalf of zones A, B and C, as well as for women and youths, all said Governor Ortom has shown the character of a dependable leader who puts the interest of his people first. The stakeholders pledged to find ways of resolving the internal crisis rocking the party while assuring the Governor that they would continue to stand with him through thick and thin. Governor Ortom did not address the press after the meeting. The online report is therefore fake and should be disregarded.”