2023 PRESIDENCY: I’m Waiting On God To Know If I’ll Support Atiku – Ortom
The governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom, has said that he is yet to receive direction from God on who to support in the 2023 presidential election.
Speaking on Arise TV on Wednesday, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governor, said he is currently praying and fasting to hear from God on the matter.
He added that he is expecting divine guidance from God before taking a decision on whether to support PDP’s presidential flag bearer Atiku Abubakar or any other candidate in the upcoming election.
Reports of a seeming cold war has characterised the PDP, following Atiku’s decision to pick Delta State governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, as his running mate, in disregard to the recommendation of the party’s governors and other stakeholders who wanted Nyesom Wike.
Speaking on Arise TV, Ortom, who spoke highly of Wike’s capacity to mobilise support, said the Rivers governor was treated unjustly after sacrificing so much for the PDP when everyone deserted it.
“He brought me back to PDP in 2015. You have treated Wike badly. The party and national level should go to him and appeal to him. He came second to Atiku.
“The popular views of PDP members were neglected. 14 out of 17 voted for Wike to be the VP. In his wisdom, Atiku chose Governor Ifeanyi Okowa. Okowa is my friend, I have no problem with him, but if we are in a democratic era and 14 out of 17 said it should be Wike and he decided to jettison the report, I expected more explanations. I expected him to talk to Wike first before announcing Okowa. Also, I expected him to even talk to some of us, so that we can work together.
“All of us have our weapon; Wike can be ‘something something’, but when it comes to mobilisation, impact, value addition and reaching out to make sure that the party works, the man is an instrument. He’s somebody who stood for the party and made sure that things worked. Some of us believed in him, but unfortunately, it was somebody else. But the party is supreme.
“However, some of us have resorted to prayers. I have been in hibernation. We’ve resorted to prayer: ‘Lord God, where do we go from here?’ I believe as a Christian that power belongs to God. The Bible says a man can receive nothing except it is given to him from above.
“I am praying. I have gone into hibernation. I am fasting and praying. So in the end, if God directs me that I should support Atiku, why should I not do it? After all, he’s my party member. But I am waiting for him to do more. I expect him to reach out to Wike, who came second in the presidential primary. The man he denied the popular view of the PDP members — 14 out of 17 — who said Wike should be the vice-presidential candidate. I expect more explanation. I expect him to talk to Wike — whom we are supporting — first. I expect him to reach out to some of us so that together we can work as a party”, he said.
Meanwhile, Wike, who is presently on vacation in Turkey with his Abia State counterpart, Okezie Ikpeazu, has not reacted since Atiku named Okowa as his running mate.
He has neither congratulated his Delta counterpart nor condemned Atiku’s decision, a development, THEWILL gathered, has unsettled the party and kept leaders of the PDP guessing.
More so, the silence of Wike over his treatment has turned Port Harcourt to a Mecca of sorts, compelling high-profile visitors to consult with the Rivers Governor.
Among the high profile visitors included, the presidential candidate of Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi; Bauchi Governor, Bala Mohammed; the presidential candidate of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso.
Others are the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Philip Tanimu Aduda, Minority Whip, Senator Chukwuka Utazi, Senate Deputy Minority Leader, Shuaibu Lau, Senators Danjuma Laah and Barry Mpigi.
Even a former Niger Delta Minister, Elder Godsday Orubebe, who recently dumped the PDP and a former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, as well as Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi visited Wike.
They all separately met with him behind closed doors.