By Peter Duru, Makurdi
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state has said the presidency of Nigerians should return to the South in 2023 in the interest of fairness, equity, and good conscience.
The Governor who stated this weekend when he hosted the Governor of Ekiti state and All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential aspirant, Dr. Kayode Fayemi who paid him a courtesy call in Makurdi, however noted that he would queue behind anyone his party nominates as its candidate ahead of the general election.
Governor Ortom said: “Some of us have made our position clear, we are from the North but we believe in Southern President for fairness, equity and justice. That is why myself and Sen. Gabriel Suswam are working for southern President.
“The truth must be told to the people who have conscience that the Presidency should be given back to the South. But we will queue up behind any candidate that emerges.”
The Governor commended his Ekiti counterparts for joining the presidential race saying “you have capacity, charisma and education to lead the country.”
He called on Nigerians to put religious and political differences aside and work together to save the country from its current security and economic challenges.
He said: “We need divine intervention in our country today. Our country has been taken from top to bottom. Just look at the challenges we are facing today. It requires PDP, APC and non partisan people to change.
“Political parties are not the problem. In politics it is a matter of interest no permanent enemy or friend because the fence is not tall. Our interest must be about the country. Today we are challenged whether APC or PDP.
“Look at the issue of insecurity which has never been witnesses in the history of our country. Today, the economy of this country has gone down.
“It is not about President Buhari, PDP or APC, it is about Nigerians. We used to be called the Giants of Africa, I do not know whether we are now the grasshoppers of Africa.”
Earlier, the APC Presidential aspirant who stated that it was customary to visit his colleague before moving to the APC State Secretariat to meet with delegates in continuation of his consultations, identified retooling of the armed forces, effective intelligence gathering and strengthening the use of technology to tackle security as some of his core areas of his interest if elected President.
He also said: “We need to restore the confidence of our people so that they can return to their own economic opportunity. We must stem the tide of insurgency, banditry and criminality of all kinds.
“That is in the short term. In a more sustainable term, we must address the triggers of insecurity. And what are these triggers, there is extreme inequality in our society, there is poverty in our society, there is youth frustration in our society.
“And if we do not address these sociology underpinning of society over the long term, we will not be able to fully and comprehensively respond to challenges of the moment. So if the party chooses me as its candidate and Nigerians invest with their support, you can be sure that this will be my number one priority.”