Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue, says he is “fasting and praying” for divine guidance before deciding to support Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the 2023 elections.
The governor spoke in a chat with Arise TV on Wednesday.
In May, Atiku had fended off a close challenge from Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, to clinch the PDP presidential ticket.
The candidate then named Ifeanyi Okowa, governor of Delta, as his running mate despite the party’s national working committee (NWC) endorsing Wike for the role.
The decision has since created a fissure amongst all individuals involved and their supporters.
Speaking on the development, Ortom 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.
He added that he will be supporting Atiku’s presidential bid only if God directs him.
“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,” he said.
“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 — 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.”