2023: Ortom declares support for Atiku

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GOVERNOR of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has said that he is not against the position of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, on the issues that transpired at the party’s presidential primary and the selection of a running mate, adding that Atiku is his presidential candidate.

Recall that Atiku had after announcing Okowa as his running mate clarified that he picked the Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa because he (Okowa) had the qualities to be a President, adding that he “is a President-in-waiting.”

He said, “In arriving at the decision, I held wide consultations with various stakeholders in our party including our governors, the national working committee, board of trustees, and other leaders to seek their inputs and their wisdom.”

“In these consultations, I made clear that my running mate would have the potential to succeed me at a moment’s notice, that is, a president-in-waiting.

Also, speaking in an exclusive interview aired on Friday on Arise TV, Atiku said he picked who could deliver over the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike.

He noted that he did not reject Wike as a running mate, but only picked who could deliver on his policies out of the three options presented to him by the committee chaired by Ortom himself.

Atiku said, “I didn’t reject Wike, I picked who can deliver. Wike is brilliant and tenacious. Going by history, I picked an Igbo as running mate in 2007, in 2019. I still picked an Igbo as running mate for 2023.

“The committee that presented the three nominees was chaired by the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom. They recommended three people, so I picked one. People should be fair to me and state the facts.”

On the possibility of resolving issues with Wike, Atiku said the party was talking to Wike.

“We are reaching out to Wike and we are talking with him and I believe very soon we will find a reconciliation. In fact, very soon, because we are talking to him.

“We are talking to his governor colleagues. I am very optimistic we are going to resolve our internal crisis and move on.”

He added, “I have contested this presidency a couple of times and I don’t try to blame anybody, I accept the outcome or go to court,” Atiku said.

The position of Atiku had generated reactions within the PDP camp and in the public.

Reacting today, Ortom said via his Twitter handle, “I will not contradict @atiku on what he said. He is my candidate and I am behind him. Whatever happened in the course of the primary and nomination of the presidential running mate is now a thing of the past. The PDP is a family, and we will always settle our matters in-house.”

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