News

November 8, 2022

PDP crisis: Why Atiku won’t have my support —Ortom

Ortom, Atiku

Wike in Benue, says group of 5 governors, G-5, formed to save Nigeria, fighting for inclusivity

By Peter Duru

Makurdi—Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has given reasons he would not support the presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

Ortom said he would not support a candidate who saw nothing wrong in the killing of innocent Benue people by armed Fulani herdsmen.

The Benue governor spoke as his counterpart in Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, said the five governors of the Group of 5 (G5) of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, were bonded to save Nigeria.

The five governors include Nyesom Wike (Rivers); Samuel Ortom (Benue); Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia); Seyi makinde (Oyo): and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu).

Governor Ortom, who spoke in Makurdi during the State Banquet organised by Benue State government for the visiting G-5 Governors, lamented  the recent killing of 18 persons in Guma, his Local Government Area, LGA, where a young man in his 20s had his eyes plucked out and another had his hand chopped off by armed herdsmen.

He said the herdsmen committed the atrocity as a message to him (Governor Ortom), demanding the abrogation of the Benue grazing law.

He said:   “My people are being killed and you want me to be quiet; you want me to be slave to a Fulani. It’s better I die. Anybody supporting Atiku in Benue is an enemy of the state.

“Some are threatening; My tenure ends in May and you can do whatever you want if you think you have the powers. I have written my will. When I gave it to my wife, she cried all night. If I die at 62 it will not be new.

”Many of my mates have gone long time ago and If I die today, I will be fulfilled but let it be on record that I died resisting the invasion and killing of my people.

“I will never support a Fulani man to become president. If there is another person who is ready to work with me and ensure the security of my people, I will work with him.

“Speaking on his relationship with Governor Wike, Ortom said:  “Many have wondered why I have chosen to swim with Wike. Many have wondered why I have chosen to walk with him in the midst of storms and threats and also fire and brimstone. 

”Many have wondered, but I still remember that this is the man who stood with us during our trying moments.

“He came out and did not fear the threats about federal might and what have you. I will stand with him and I remain with him because I am not a betrayer.

“When I was attacked by the Fulani terrorists. Wike came out and told Nigerians that if you kill Ortom, you have killed Nigeria.

“He was very firm in condemning that attack. Here is a man that did not keep quiet when Benue State was in turmoil and Benue State was in travails, when Benue State was under siege and challenged by the same Fulani herdsmen.’

“In his remarks, Governor Nyesom Wike said the G-5 Governors of the PDP which he christened the ‘Intergruty Governors’ are on a mission to rescue Nigeria.

He said they were not seeking personal aggrandisement nor fight anybody but are only asking for the right things to be done.

He said it was incumbent on anyone who entered into an agreement to respect it, saying “all we are asking for is inclusivity, justice, equity and fairness in the PDP.

”The way we are, people are trying to see how they can break us, but they cannot. We are bonded to save Nigeria.

“These are governors who can come out and tell you black is black, yes is yes because leadership is about integrity and anyone who does not show integrity should not be trusted. And anyone who does not respect agreements when he does not have power you cannot expect him to respect an agreement when he has power.

“Wike, who described “Ortom as a good man”, charged the people of the state to support him, noting that he had stood and given his all for his people.

He said Nigerians are expecting the PDP to rescue the country, but regretted it appeared that the leadership of the party is not showing serious commitment to that course.

Agreement is 

agreement

He stated that inclusivity remains a precursor for peace and unity because it would allow everybody to have an equal sense of stake, both in the party and to work together for the desired electoral victory.

“Agreement is agreement. Respect agreement, so that there will be peace, there will be unity. What we are asking for is inclusivity; include everybody.

“We are not talking about presidential candidate. We have finished that one. We have a presidential candidate, we have a vice presidential candidate.

“But that one that will go to the other people, give them so that everybody will move forward. That is what we are saying, nothing more,” the governor said. On the 25 buses donated to Benue State PDP for campaigns, Wike explained that the buses were part of the bulk of vehicles his team acquired for his presidential campaigns if he had won the primary. The buses, he noted, would help in easing their efforts as they re-enact the winning position of the party.

“So, Ortom saying I gave you people vehicles, it is not correct. They are the vehicles that our team bought that time because of the (presidential primary) election, we would have won it, but to God be the glory,” he said.