The consistent pally between Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom and his Rivers State counterpart, Nyesom Wike, will not deny the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), Atiku Abubakar, an assured 65% of votes from Benue in the forthcoming election, says a party chieftain.
Interacting with newsmen over the weekend on the crisis rocking the country’s main opposition party a few months to the 2023 general election, PDP chieftain in Benue State, Abraham Chila said governor Ortom’s actions against the party presidential flagbearer would not in any way water down the citizen’s allegiance to PDP.
Naija News understands that Ortom alongside other PDP chieftains have created a faction in the party in solidarity with Governor Wike who feel betrayed after the party’s national convention and presidential primaries months ago.
Recently, the Benue State governor declared that unless Wike is appeased, PDP is likely to lose its chance of reclaiming power from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) during the 2023 presidential election.
Reacting however to Ortom’s claims, Chila said regardless of the Benue State governor’s decision before and during the coming election, PDP and its presidential candidate would win elections in the state.
According to him, from 1999 to date, PDP has become very entrenched in Benue. Chila further said that because PDP National chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, is from the state, that made it imperative that nothing could change the voting pattern in the state.
He said: “You may wish to know that my governor, Ortom, is also a candidate for the senatorial election in next year’s election. Interestingly, the presidential election and that of the National Assembly come up on the same day.
“So, with Gov. Ortom’s fate tied to that of Vice President Atiku Abubakar, it is impossible for PDP to get less than 65 per cent of the state’s total votes cast.
“And with our son, Dr Ayu as the national chairman, PDP has the bragging rights for the maximum votes from Benue State.”
Chila expressed confidence that with the security and economic challenges facing the country, including Benue, citizens of the state would rather vote for Atiku who has the capacity to address the challenges that support any other candidate from any political party.
“We need stability, and security, and Benue State voters know that the only man that can pull Nigeria back from the precipice is Abubakar.
“The former Vice President is not coming to the presidency as a learner but will bring his wealth of experience to bear on national reconstruction,” the party chieftain said.
Ayu Has Committed No Offence
Reacting to agitations by some PDP stakeholders for the party chairman to resign his position, Chila said those making the calls were either mistaken or mischievous.
While noting that such calls are dangerous at the moment, Chila noted that Ayu emerged as the national chairman of the party through a foolproof process that was not controversial, and hence can not resign in such a manner.
According to him, telling Ayu to quit when he had not committed any impeachable offence amounts to questioning the very rudiments of democracy.
Chila said: “Ayu has not committed any offence. Therefore, anybody asking him to leave office is indirectly calling for the proscription of PDP, which is not attainable in a democracy.
“People should look beyond Ayu as an individual, he represents that party on account of the mandate freely given to him.
“If I may add, what would be the compensation for North-Central if Ayu resigns?
“The North-Central has been making sacrifices for the growth and stability of PDP.
“Do we have to wait for 24 years before being considered for the presidential ticket, why must we throw away the consolation prize of national chairman?” the party chieftain asked.