The governor of Benue, Samuel Ortom, has endorsed Peter Obi, the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, ahead of the upcoming election.
Ortom, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), revealed the endorsement at a town hall meeting in the state capital, Makurdi, on Thursday.
The governor based his support for Obi on the inability of the PDP and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to serve Nigerians.
“This is not a celebration. I am not a member of the Labour Party, but I work for Peter Obi. Peter Obi will ensure that our eyes are closed while we sleep. “These senseless killings that are occurring in our country will cease,” stated Ortom.
“Of the three presidential contenders, only Peter Obi possesses the integrity and qualifications to lead Nigeria.
“In 2023, we must create a new Nigeria, one that provides equity, fairness, and justice to its citizens.”
Ortom is part of a group of five PDP governors known as G-5 who are at odds with the party’s national leadership.
According to sources, Ortom highlighted his dispute with George Akume, former governor of Benue and minister of special duties and intergovernmental relations, as his rationale for backing Obi during a meeting of the G5 governors.
The disagreement between Ortom and Akume, an APC member, took on a new dimension in 2021, when Ortom accused President Muhammadu Buhari of attempting to “Fulanise” the country in response to Buhari’s approval of a committee’s proposals to review 368 grazing reserves in 25 states.
Kelvins Dzeremo, a political analyst in Benue, told TheCable that Ortom’s endorsement is merely a reflection of the PDP’s turmoil and will increase the APC’s chances in the state.
“According to the PDP’s political constitution, Ortom’s endorsement of a different presidential candidate constitutes anti-party action. According to the PDP’s constitution, I am aware that he can be expelled or suspended for his actions,” Dzeremo stated.
“Ortom is a candidate for a senate seat for the PDP in Benue. Now he is running for national office on the platform of a party with a presidential nominee. And the election of the APC and PDP presidential candidates occurs on the same day that Ortom is running. I do not know how he will manage the divisions he has caused by sponsoring a candidate from a different party.
“Therefore, the messier he becomes, the more favorable it is for the APC in Benue, particularly for Akume, with whom he has no relationship.”
“It doesn’t matter to Akume or anyone else in the APC who he endorses or doesn’t endorse; the more discord, the better for the former governor.”
However, Ortom has now obtained a court order prohibiting his expulsion from the PDP.
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