Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, has said he believes in power shift to the South in 2023, and had wanted Nyesom Wike, Rivers State governor to get the People’s Democratic Party Party (PDP) presidential ticket.
He noted, however, that since Wike lost the ticket to Atiku Abubakar, former vice president, what is more important is getting a leader that would unite the country.
The Benue governor who spoke on Arise TV on Thursday, said Atiku has expressed his intention to meet with Wike, and has reached out to him in that regard.
He said the recent happenings in the party have led to division, adding that it that may hamper the party’s success in the forthcoming elections.
On the choice of a vice-presidential candidate, Ortom had earlier said 14 out of 17 members of a PDP panel had preferred the Rivers governor as the party’s vice-presidential candidate.
However, Abubakar had eventually picked Ifeanyi Okowa, governor of Delta, as his running mate, a development that has caused disagreement in the party.
Speaking after he lost the presidential ticket, Wike had made references to “betrayal and conspiracy”.
Wike, Ortom and some other governors of the party were also absent during the party’s governorship campaign in Osun — but Abubakar had said report of crisis within the party is “social media drama”.
Speaking on the developments, the Benue governor said Wike ought to have been pacified.
“Some of us believe in a southern presidency. We thought Wike would be the right person to get the ticket but he did not get it,” he said.
“Then the issue of vice-presidency came. I was one of the people that were able to convince Wike that ‘half a loaf is better than none; you wanted to be president, but God did not make it happen; there’s nothing wrong in asking to be the vice-president.’ Unfortunately, this did not work.
“I think that the leadership of the party needed to do the needful by reaching out to him immediately to pacify him. That is what happens in every political setting, because in the end, you need everybody to be around you.
“We look forward that the leadership of the party will do the needful to bring all of us together. Our presidential candidate has reached out to me to further persuade governor Wike that he’s coming to see him, they’ll sit down and discuss. For me, once that is done, that is the end of it.
“I believe that working together with governor Wike, we can achieve a better result for our party, the PDP. And so, I believe that our presidential candidate will reach out to Wike, and once they discuss and he’s pacified, I will also be pacified.”