From Scholastica Onyeka, Makurdi
Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, yesterday, said unless issues raised by the five aggrieved Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors were dully addressed, he cannot guarantee that the state would work for Atiku Abubakar in the 2023 presidential poll.
He said Atiku and the leadership of the PDP could only ignore him and governors Nyesom Wike of Rivers; Seyi Makinde of Oyo, Ifeanyi Ugwanyi, Enugu and Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia seeking removal of the national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu and his replacement with a southerner at their own risks.
He stated this at Makurdi during the inauguration of the party campaign council and management team.
“Those who said the five governors do not matter are doing the party a disservice. There is no way PDP will win elections with the kind of massive conflict they had especially, with the five governors we are talking about are those who won elections in their respective states and you think you can ignore them.’’
He called on the national leadership of the party to rise up to the occasion and resolve the issues at stake as it is impossible to move forward without addressing the issues that the five governors have raised.
“But if a particular candidate said Governor Ortom does not matter, the leader of the party in Benue did not matter, Benue votes does not matter, that is where we will have issues.”
Ortom who reiterated his earlier call that the national leadership should deploy its internal mechanism to resolve the lingering crisis, said their demand was anchored on justice and fair play in the party and stressed that the five of them were on the same page.
He clarified that the PDP in Benue holds no grudge against Atiku.
“I have been saying this that it is only PDP that can provide good governance in the country. Yes, there are issues and problems arising from the presidential primary, but the national leadership of the party should deploy it’s internal mechanism to resolve the crisis because there is no way they can sweep the issues under the carpet. I want to assure you that if the national leadership of PDP opens up and resolves the issues, we shall work together from bottom to the top. But if the issues we are raising are not resolved. I cannot say what will happen. We do not have issues with the presidential candidate of PDP, but let the national leadership listen to the voice of reasoning. You cannot dismiss what we are saying because I stand by what my colleagues stand for.”
He said Wike had supported the PDP campaign team in the state with 25 vehicles which would be distributed to all 23 local government areas of the state.