From Scholastica Onyeka, Makurdi
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue State has flagged off its 2023 campaigns in a bid to win all elective positions in the state.
The campaign flag-off which took place on Monday, at the Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, IBB, square, in Makurdi, witnessed a mammoth crowd being members of the party from the 23 local government areas of Benue state.
Our correspondent observed that the national chairman of the PDP and a son of the soil, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, was totally absent at the flag-off.
Speaking during the event, Governor Samuel Ortom, who was supported by the G-5 Governors, Nyesom Wike of Rivers state, Okezie Ikeazu of Abia state, Ifeanyi Ugwuany of Enugu and Seyi Makinde of Oyo state, appreciated them for leaving their by busy schedules to come to Benue to support him.
He appreciated Wike especially for donating part of his campaign vehicles to support the campaign in Benue and prayed that God bless them for their solidarity.
Ortom said: “PDP in Benue state has no problems. By the grace of God, we have been winning our elections and we will win again.”
Also speaking, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, who expressed deep worry over the continuous killing of Benue people by herdsmen militia said “the issue at stake today is about us in Benue choosing life over death and we have seen the efforts that Governor Ortom has made to cry about our plight here in Benue state.
“Anybody who takes us away from our farms wants to take our lives away. Therefore, I will ask and urge the people of Benue state to follow Ortom. Follow him wey know road. Don’t follow somebody ‘wey no know road’.
“I believe that Ortom is the Moses that will take Benue to the promised land. The candidates of the PDP will lead the way to take Benue out of Egypt. My prayer is that Benue people will be wise and follow Uba, all our National Assembly candidates and all others in PDP. Vote PDP all the way,” Okezie said.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and Seyi Makinde who described Ortom as God’s gift to Benue said they were in the state to lend their support to the state’s campaign flag-off adding that they were excited at the testimonies that Benue is PDP.
Makinde however said “my only message to you is don’t be complacent, I beg you in the name of God. Go out there, put in the hard work and deliver Benue to PDP. You have done it before and you will do it again.
“I wish you a successful campaign and pray that by February/March 2023, you would have delivered all your candidates to PDP.”
It was drama when Governor Nyesom Wike came to the stage as he asked the crowd whether he should “pepper them” to which they chorused a loud yes.
He further explained that “We came here to support a man whom you can sleep with your two eyes closed your Governor is a man who believes in his people, your Governor is a man who can die for his people.
“Your Governor is a man who cannot change from whatever it takes.. because he believes first that Benue must survive and that is why we have all left everything we are doing in our states to come and give you support to tell you that anything Ortom tells you to do, do it; it will be for the interest of Benue state.
Wike who also described Ortom as a gift to the people of Benue state said they have come to support the people of Benue state to win elections just as he prayed that God delivers the people of Benue state.
In his remarks, the senator representing Benue North East, Sen Gabriel Suswam welcomed the G-5 governors and appreciated them for their support and solidarity with Benue State.
“Yes, we will have our internal problems but I believe that you people are great Nigerians who should solve the problems that we have. I don’t think that problem should be allowed to consume all of us,” he said.
He appreciated Ortom for keeping the party together saying Benue people are waiting for PDP.
The senator for Benue South, Senator Abba Moro, said in spite of the seeming differences in the PDP, “We will not do anything that will undermine the authority and leadership of the Governor.
” At the same time, we will not do anything that will disgrace our son who is the national chairman of the PDP. We believe that there is nothing that God cannot do. What God cannot do does not exist.
“I believe that before the election, we will reconcile all the irreconcilable and we will be able to deliver Benue to PDP from bottom to top,” Moro said.