The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has reacted to an online news report quoting him as having said the G5 Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party have endorsed the party’s presidential candidate for the 2023 elections in Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar.
The reaction was contained in a statement on Tuesday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Terver Akase.
The Eagle Online recalls that the G5 is made up of give Governors who are at loggerheads with the leadership of the PDP.
Led by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, the G5, also known as Integrity Group, has Ortom and Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State as members.
They are demanding the removal of Iyorchia Ayu as the National Chairman of the party.
Their argument is hinged on the premise that both the presidential candidate and National Chairman cannot be from the same Northern region.
Reacting to the online report that the G5 had endorsed Abubakar, a former Vice President of Nigeria, Ortom said in the statement by Akase: “We read a fictitious online report which claimed that the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom and his colleagues in the G-5 have resolved to work for the presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to win the 2023 election.
“The report is not only false but also mischievous as it is targeted at embarrassing the five Governors who have chosen the path of justice, fairness and equity.
“Manufacturers of the said report were apparently on a desperate mission to score a cheap political point. The report could not mention the place and date of the said meeting of G-5 Governors.
“The writers only sought to take advantage of the crisis within the PDP for their selfish purposes. Governor Ortom and other members of the G-5 have not endorsed the said presidential candidate.
“When the Governor met with the expanded state caucus of PDP yesterday January 9, 2023 at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi, his message to them was crystal clear that the national leadership of PDP has failed to utilise its internal conflict resolution mechanism which has led to the crisis rocking the party. The Governor said during the meeting that if the crisis is not resolved before the elections, he would be left with no other option than to take a stand on the matter.
“He added, however, that he wouldn’t impose his decision on members of the party in the state.
“Stakeholders present at the meeting commended the Governor for his patriotic disposition and pledged to line up behind him.
“Those who spoke on behalf of zones A, B and C, as well as for women and youths, all said Governor Ortom has shown the character of a dependable leader who puts the interest of his people first. The stakeholders pledged to find ways of resolving the internal crisis rocking the party while assuring the Governor that they would continue to stand with him through thick and thin.
“Governor Ortom did not address the press after the meeting. The online report is therefore fake and should be disregarded.”