Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has refused to expressly back the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, noting that only God can direct him in that regard.
There has been cold war in the main opposition party over Atiku decision to name Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, governor of Delta State as his running mate, in disregard to the recommendation of the party’s governors and other stakeholders who wanted Nyesom Wike.
Meanwhile, Wike, governor of Rivers State, who is currently in Turkey with Okezie Ikpeazu, Abia State governor, has refused to congratulate Okowa, even as uncertainty continues to surround his political future.
His silence is said to be causing ripples in the party, even as he’s been receiving key opposition party figures lately.
Ortom, a friend of the Rivers State governor, who spoke on Arise TV on Wednesday morning, said he is “fasting and praying” for divine guidance before deciding to support Atiku, the party’s presidential candidate.
Ortom praised Wike as “somebody who stood for the party and made sure that things worked”, adding that “some of us believed in him” as the party’s best choice for the vice-presidential candidate.
He added that he will be supporting Atiku’s presidential bid only if God directs him.
“All of us have our weapon; Wike can be ‘something something’ but when it comes to mobilisation, impact, value addition and reaching out to make sure that the party works the man is an instrument. He’s somebody who stood for the party and made sure that things worked. Some of us believed in him, but unfortunately, it was somebody else. But the party is supreme,” he said.
“However, some of us have resorted to prayers. I have been in hibernation. We’ve resorted to prayer: ‘Lord God, where do we go from here.’ I believe as a Christian that power belongs to God. The Bible says a man can receive nothing except it is given to him from above.
“I am praying. I have gone into hibernation. I am fasting and praying. So in the end, if God directs me that I should support Atiku, why should I not do it? After all, he’s my party member. But I am waiting for him to do more. I expect him to reach out to Wike, who came second in the presidential primary. The man he denied the popular view of the PDP members — 14 out of 17 — who said Wike should be the vice-presidential candidate. I expect more explanation. I expect him to talk to Wike — whom we are supporting — first. I expect him to reach out to some of us so that together we can work as a party.”