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I Won’t Contradict Atiku, He’s My Candidate – Ortom

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The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has said that he is not against the position of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, on the issues that transpired at the party’s presidential primary and the selection of a running mate, adding that Atiku is his presidential candidate.

Atiku had after announcing Okowa as his running mate clarified that he picked the Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa because he (Okowa) had the qualities to be a President, adding that he “is a President-in-waiting.”

He said, “In arriving at the decision, I held wide consultations with various stakeholders in our party including our governors, the national working committee, board of trustees, and other leaders to seek their inputs and their wisdom.”

“In these consultations, I made clear that my running mate would have the potential to succeed me at a moment’s notice, that is, a president-in-waiting.

Also, speaking in an exclusive interview aired on Friday on Arise TV, Atiku said he picked who could deliver over the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike.

He noted that he did not reject Wike as a running mate, but only picked who could deliver on his policies out of the three options presented to him by the committee chaired by Ortom himself.

Atiku said, “I didn’t reject Wike, I picked who can deliver. Wike is brilliant and tenacious. Going by history, I picked an Igbo as running mate in 2007, in 2019. I still picked an Igbo as running mate for 2023.

“The committee that presented the three nominees was chaired by the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom. They recommended three people, so I picked one. People should be fair to me and state the facts.”

On the possibility of resolving issues with Wike, Atiku said the party was talking to Wike.

“We are reaching out to Wike and we are talking with him and I believe very soon we will find a reconciliation. In fact, very soon, because we are talking to him.

“We are talking to his governor colleagues. I am very optimistic we are going to resolve our internal crisis and move on.”

He added, “I have contested this presidency a couple of times and I don’t try to blame anybody, I accept the outcome or go to court,” Atiku said.

The position of Atiku had generated reactions within the PDP camp and in the public.

Reacting on Monday, Ortom said via his Twitter handle, “I will not contradict @atiku on what he said. He is my candidate and I am behind him. Whatever happened in the course of the primary and nomination of the presidential running mate is now a thing of the past. The PDP is a family, and we will always settle our matters in-house.”

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Wike Not Sincere with Makinde, Ortom, Ikpeazu, Ugwuanyi – PDP PCC

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A spokesperson for the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Council, Mr Daniel Bwala, has said that the Governor of Rivers State and leader of the aggrieved G-5 PDP governors, Nyesom Wike, was deceiving his four colleagues over the presidential candidate they would collectively support.

Bwala alleged that Wike was supporting the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, but that he could not make it public because he had given his colleagues the impression that he was supporting the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi.

The four governors are Samuel Ortom of Benue State; Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State; Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, and Seyi Makinde of Oyo State. The governors had vowed not to support the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, unless the national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, stepped aside.

In an interview with Saturday PUNCH, Bwala described Wike as inconsequential, noting that he reneged on his promise to announce the G-5 and Integrity Group’s preferred candidate for fear of outright expulsion by the party. He said open support for another party’s candidate would be a proven anti-party activity against him.

He said, “He is dishonest and inconsequential. You recall that he promised to announce their preferred candidate in January. When a BBC correspondent reminded him of the pledge, he responded that January had not ended. Now that January is over, he said he never revealed to anyone the methodology of disclosure of their preferred candidate. He is now saying he has told his people who to vote for.

“He can’t announce his candidate because he knows the consequences. The party can expel him outright for gross misconduct and anti-party activities. He made them (his colleagues) believe that he was behind Peter Obi. So, he can’t openly come out now to declare support for the APC candidate because the other four governors do not want Tinubu.”

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Presidential Candidate: PDP PCC Accuses Wike of Frustration, Lack of Integrity

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The Peoples Democratic Party Campaign Council in Rivers State has taken a swipe at the state governor, Nyesom Wike, over the cancellation of the approval granted for the party’s presidential campaign in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

The spokesman for the PDP PCC in the state, Dr Leloonu Nwibubasa, who stated this in an interview with The PUNCH, also said the governor lacked integrity for not naming his preferred presidential candidate in January as he promised.

Nwibubasa said from all indications, the governor was increasingly frustrated.

On Wednesday, the state government cancelled the approval given to the PDP for the rally of its standard bearer to hold in the state on February 11, 2023.

The cancellation was contained in a letter signed by the state Commissioner for Sports, Christopher Green, and addressed to the Director General, PDP PCC, Aminu Tambuwal.

The letter said credible information available to the state government showed that the PDP PCC was working in collaboration with a faction of the All Progressives Congress in the state led by Tonye Cole.

It added that information at the government’s disposal show that activities of the APC in the state have always been marred by violence due largely to irreconcilable internal conflicts within the party.

It added, “The Rivers State Government is unable to risk damage to or destruction of the very valuable and priced asset, the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, which your use of the same in collaboration with your Tonye Patrick Cole APC faction will expose it to.

“In the circumstance, the Rivers State Government has come to the painful but inevitable decision to withdraw the approval earlier given to you for the use of the stadium and the said approval is hereby withdrawn.”

Nwibubasa, while confirming the development, described the state government’s earlier approval as a Greek gift.

Berating Wike, Nwibubasa further said the governor was not a good fighter, because a good fighter knows when to quit.

Nwibubasa stated, “We are not surprised when certain decisions are taken because it all amounts to the fact that the level of frustration is increasing.

“We will only appeal to him that he should return to his party and return to the part of peace. And that is part of honour. No one fights a war and refuses to evaluate the same war, and knows when to call it quits. He is not a good fighter.

“For the presidential candidate of the PDP, we are very certain that Rivers people are happy with him. They are in love with him and they are going to vote for him en masse come February 25, 2023.”

Asked what he thinks about Wike’s inability to name his preferred presidential candidate as he had promised, he said it shows the governor has no integrity.

“His inability to name his preferred candidate as publicly announced in January, again is a pointer to his level of instability and incoherence.”

“It tells of his integrity that he cannot match his words with action. So, for us, it is painful that we have a governor who says one thing and does the other.

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Just In: Fifth Columnists in the Presidency Working Against Tinubu, Says El-Rufai

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By Michael Effiong

Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has revealed that there are some fifth columnists in the presidency who want the All Progressives Congress ( APC) to lose the 2023 Presidential election.

Speaking on Channels TV flagship programme, Sunrise Daily, Governor El-Rufai affirmed that there was serious division in the APC Presidential Campaign Council.

He stated that some people in the Presidency because Asiwaju Bola Tinubu was not their preferred candidate are working against his interest.

He noted that the Naira redesign was not an APC problem but a Presidency problem, urging Nigerians to ignore their current situation and still vote for Tinubu as a person.

On the fuel crisis, he said fuel subsidy had been a problem for many years and that it was President Buhari and not APC that has insisted on the subsidy which is costing the nation a whopping six Trillion Naira.

He revealed that as far back as 2016, Buhari had been advised to remove subsidy but he had bluntly refused.

Governor El Rufai used the opportunity to hail his tenure in Kaduna State, noting that his government has attracted over $4billion worth of investments to the state.

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