Presidency 2023: Gov Ortom supports zoning of PDP ticket to south  

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Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has expressed his opinion supporting the zoning of the 2023 presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the south. He stated that the party will, however, make the final decision. The governor also said he will abide by the decision of the PDP despite his personal opinion on the 2023 presidential election.

Governor Ortom in an interview with ARISE News Television relayed on Saturday and monitored from Lagos by National Daily, argued that after eight years of the Presidency in the north, for equity, justice, and making every part of the country have a sense of belonging, the presidency should be zoned to the south in 2023. The Benue State governor asserted that there are credible people in the south who can turn Nigeria round from present leadership woes, who can do better than the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) government is currently doing.

Ortom insisted that the “PDP must look for somebody with credibility, look for excellence, look for people who can objectively deliver on what the people need.” The governor noted that the country is collapsing and needs to be redeemed, saying the country does not need praise singers, going forward.

According to Ortom, “they stay in Abuja and praise themselves, not listening to the people they govern, yet things are getting worse.” Ortom decried the deplorable state of the economy, the protracted insecurity, rising unemployment, etc. he stated that President Buhari cannot go to Katsina, his home state, with five security personnel.

Governor Ortom, however, said that if the PDP should insist on a presidential candidate who can solve the prevailing socio-economic crises in the country, the party must scrutinize the antecedents of the person who wants to be president. He insisted that if the PDP should make the presidential contest open, then it must be based on the antecedents of the person, “does he has the capacity to be creative, productive, tackle insecurity, unemployment;” adding that if such person comes from the north, he will abide by the party’s decision.

Governor Ortom, however, cautioned: “It must be a president that will not make us slaves, we are presently slaves to China.” The governor declared that the APC government has ruined Nigeria;” adding “and we have to redeem it.”

Ortom asserted that he will support a presidential candidate, irrespective of regional or ethnic identity, who has the leadership qualities he had mentioned and is committed to redeeming the country in the post-Buhari administration. He stated that if such a person comes from the north, he will support him. He cautioned that the PDP should not present a clay footed presidential candidate, saying that Nigerians are fed up with APC.

Governor Ortom corrected the wrong representation of his view on the APC presidential aspirant, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, that he will fight Tinubu. He refuted that report, noting that Tinubu is a good person.

Ortom, however, asserted that his position is that anybody who says he will build on the legacy of President Buhari, who he said has brought pain to him, his people in Benue, and Nigerians,saying he will fight that person. The governor declared: “anybody who says he will build on the legacy of President Buhari that has brought pain to me, he brought pain to my people, many who are in IDP camps; he has brought hardship, unemployment, poverty, I will fight that kind of person. It means he will do worse than we have today.”

Governor Ortom said he will support somebody who will rebuild the country – the economy, security, etc. The governor noted that President Buhari said during his campaign that he will take Nigeria from top to bottom, saying that “we are now seeing that happen”. Ortom declared, “we want somebody who will take Nigeria from bottom to top;” saying he will support such a person no matter where he comes from. He insisted that he will not support a clay footed candidate because he comes from the north.

Ortom excluded himself from the presidential race, saying he must not be involved in it, noting that God has shown him grace to be governor for two tenures of eight years, after other political appointments.