Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has assured that he would not impose his choice of a presidential candidate on members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
This as the governor denied having declared support for Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the opposition party.
He was reported to have expressed support for Abubakar’s presidential bid in a meeting with PDP stakeholders in Benue on Monday.
However, reacting through Terver Akase, his adviser on media and publicity, Ortom described the report as “false and mischievous.”
According to him, the report was authored for “selfish purposes”.
“We read a fictitious online report which claimed that the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, and his colleagues in the G5 have resolved to work for the presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to win the 2023 election,” the statement reads.
“The report is not only false but also mischievous as it is 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 G5 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 G5 have not endorsed the said presidential candidate.”
Ortom said when he finally announces his choice of presidential candidate he will not impose it on the PDP members in the state.
“When the Governor met with the expanded state caucus of PDP yesterday, 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. 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.”
Known as G5, five PDP governors — Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), and Ortom — have been absent from the campaign rallies of Abubakar and are demanding the resignation of Iyorchia Ayu as the national chairman of the party.
The demand for Ayu’s resignation is on the grounds that the party’s presidential candidate and national chairman cannot be from the same region.
The governors said they will reveal who they intend to support as president before the end of January.