PDP VP Pick : Ortom makes sudden shift,says I am behind Atiku
In a sudden swift, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state has said he is “behind” Atiku Abubakar, the Presidential Candidate Of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after disparaging him for preferring Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to Nyesum Wike of Rivers sate as his running mate in 2023 election.
Ortom said he will not contradict the statement made by Atiku on the process that led to the selection of his running mate.
There have been cracks in the party following the selection of Okowa, as the PDP’s vice-presidential candidate.
The decision has created a fissure amongst all individuals involved and their supporters.
Ortom, who chaired the VP selection committee, had said 14 out of 17 members of the panel chose Wike over Okowa.
Reacting to the claim, Atiku had said the panel did not undertake a voting process.
He said although the committee recommended three names, which included Wike and Okowa, the panel did not vote at any time.
Speaking on Atiku’s counterclaim on Monday, the Benue governor said the events of the selection process are in the rearview.
Ortom said the party is a family, adding that the internal crisis will be settled amicably.
“I will not contradict Atiku on what he said. He is my candidate and I am behind him,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Whatever happened in the course of the primaries and nomination of the Presidential running mate is now a thing of the past.
“PDP is a family, and we will always settle our matters in-house.”
Ortom had in June praised Wike as “somebody who stood for the party and made sure that things worked”, adding that “some of us believed in him” as the party’s best choice for the vice-presidential candidate.
The governor added that he would support Atiku’s presidential bid only if God directs him.
A few days ago, Ortom disclosed that Atiku had expressed his intention to meet with Wike.
“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,” he had said.
Wike, who placed second behind Atiku in the PDP presidential primary, says he will soon reveal the “truth” about the rift in the party.