Atiku Should Have Reached Out To Wike Before Choosing VP – Ortom

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has said that the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, ought to have reached out to Governor Nyesom before announcing his running mate for the 2023 election. 

Atiku, Wike and others had vied to be flagbearers of the PDP, however, the former Vice President emerged winner and shortly afterwards Senator Ifeanyi Okowa was chosen as his running mate.

The decision to choose Okowa did not sit well with many, because a forum was constituted to pick Atiku’s Vice Presidential Candidate, and of the 17 stakeholders who met over this matter, 14 were of the opinion that Wike should become the Vice President.

READ ALSO: I Am Praying To God On Who To Support For President In 2023 – Ortom

A file photo of Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom

Speaking on this issue which seems to have caused a dissent within the ranks of the opposition party, Governor Ortom said it choice only became a problem because Atiku asked stakeholders to deliberate and decide who his VP would be and then went on to choose another against the will of the stalwarts in whose hands he had earlier entrusted the task.

Ortom went on to say that the development would not have caused any bad-blood, seeing that ultimately the choice was Atiku’s, nevertheless, the PDP Presidential Candidate ought to have reached out to those who are aggrieved over the selection, a move which he is yet to make.

According to Ortom, an individual like Wike who has been a great pillar for the PDP in recent years, should have been reached out to by Atiku, even before announcing Okowa as his VP.

“All that was needed even before the pronouncement, after we did our recommendation, Wike would have been reached out to, he is a human being.

“This is a man who has built the party today in PDP he has fought all night and all day to see that this party remains together. So, he would have been reached out to, to say that this is the decision we are taking and this is the reason we are taking this decision, and I think he would have understood,” Ortom explained.

The governor said he believes Wike would have agreed if properly addressed because all politicians know that the party is supreme.

While asserting that all three individuals who the committee recommended as VP were very qualified, Ortom stressed that Wike was “imminently qualified” and was chosen by the forum because they saw him as a force that would aid the victory for the PDP come 2023.

Nonetheless, Ortom said the party still remains united and only have to dialogue and iron things out because beyond the internal interplays, there is a bigger price to be won which is to oust the All Progressives Congress (APC) when the presidential elections come around.

Russia Quits Snake Island, Weakening Blockade Of Ukraine Ports

This handout image courtesy of Maxar Technologies released on June 30, 2022 shows an overview of Snake Island, Ukraine on June 17, 2022. Photo by various sources / AFP


Russian troops have abandoned their positions on a captured Ukrainian island, a major setback to their invasion effort that weakens their blockade of Ukraine’s ports, defence officials said on Thursday.

The news from the Black Sea came as NATO leaders wrapped up their summit in Madrid, with US President Joe Biden announcing $800 million in new weapons to help Ukraine fight off Russia’s invasion.

“We are going to stick with Ukraine, and all of the alliance are going to stick with Ukraine, as long as it takes to make sure they are not defeated by Russia,” he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, compared the new diplomatic low to the return of the Cold War, telling reporters: “As far as an Iron Curtain is concerned, essentially it is already descending… The process has begun.”

READ ALSO: If Putin Was A Woman, There Would Be No Ukraine War – Boris Johnson

But there may be a possible opening: Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo said, after meeting Putin in Moscow, that he had given the Russian leader a message from their Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky.

Snake Island became a symbol of Ukrainian resistance in the first days of the war, when the rocky outcrop’s defenders told a Russian warship that called on them to surrender to “go f*ck yourself”, an incident that spurred a defiant meme.

It was also a strategic target, sitting aside shipping lanes near Ukraine’s port of Odessa. Russia had attempted to install missile and air defence batteries while under fire from drones.

Now, however, Ukraine has begun to receive longer range missiles and artillery, and the Russian position on Snake Island seems to have become untenable.

‘Strategically important’

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned the Russian president that any eventual peace deal would be on Ukraine’s terms.

“In the end, it will prove impossible for Putin to hold down a country that will not accept his rule,” he said.

“We’ve seen what Ukraine can do to drive the Russians back. We’ve seen what they did around Kyiv and Kharkiv, now on Snake Island.”

The Russian defence ministry statement described the retreat as “a gesture of goodwill” meant to demonstrate that Moscow will not interfere with UN efforts to organise protected grain exports from Ukraine.

But Kyiv claimed it as a win.

“They always downplay their defeats this way,” Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Twitter.

“I thank the defenders of Odessa region who took maximum measures to liberate a strategically important part of our territory,” Valeriy Zaluzhny, the Ukraine military’s commander-in-chief, said on Telegram.

In peacetime, Ukraine is a major agricultural exporter, but Russia’s invasion has damaged farmland and seen Ukraine’s ports seized, razed or blockaded — threatening grain importers in Africa with famine.

Western powers have accused Putin of using the trapped harvest as a weapon to increase pressure on the international community, and Russia has been accused of stealing grain.

‘Direct threat’

On Thursday, a ship carrying 7,000 tonnes of grain sailed from Ukraine’s occupied port of Berdyansk, said the regional leader appointed by the Russian occupation forces.

Evgeny Balitsky, the head of the pro-Moscow administration, said Russia’s Black Sea ships “are ensuring the security” of the journey, adding that the port had been de-mined.

Separately, the Russian defence ministry said its forces are holding more than 6,000 Ukrainian prisoners of war who have been captured since the February 24 invasion.

The conflict in Ukraine has dominated the NATO summit in Madrid, where the leaders said Russia “is the most significant and direct threat to allies’ security and to peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area”.

This came as NATO officially invited Sweden and Finland to join the alliance, and Biden announced new deployments of US troops, ships and planes to Europe.

Biden said the US move was exactly what Putin “didn’t want” — and Moscow, facing fierce resistance from Ukrainian forces equipped with Western weapons, reacted with predictable fury.

Putin on Wednesday accused the alliance of seeking to assert its “supremacy”, telling journalists in the Turkmenistan capital of Ashgabat that Ukraine and its people are “a means” for NATO to “defend their own interests.”

“The NATO countries’ leaders wish to… assert their supremacy, their imperial ambitions,” Putin added.

‘As long as it takes’

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz dismissed Putin’s comments as “ridiculous” and said the Russian leader “has made imperialism the goal of his politics”.

NATO leaders have funnelled billions of dollars of arms to Ukraine and faced a renewed appeal from Zelensky for more long-range artillery.

“Ukraine can count on us for as long as it takes,” NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg told the summit, as he announced a new strategic overview that focuses on the Moscow threat.

The document, updated for the first time since 2010, warned the alliance “cannot discount the possibility” of an attack on its members.

Russian missiles continued to rain down on cities across Ukraine.

In the southern city of Mykolaiv, rescuers found the bodies of seven slain civilians in the rubble of a destroyed building, emergency services said.

The city of Lysychansk in the eastern Donbas region — the current focus of Russia’s offensive — is also facing sustained bombardment.

The situation in Lysychansk — the last major city the Russians need to take over in the Lugansk region — was “extremely difficult” with relentless shelling making it impossible to evacuate civilians, regional governor Sergiy Gaiday said.

“There is a lot of shelling… The Russian army is approaching from different directions,” he said in a video posted on Telegram.

Russia’s forces remain at the outskirts of the city where there is currently no street fighting, he said.

Gaiday dismissed claims by pro-Russian separatists fighting alongside Moscow’s forces who claim to control half of the city situated across the river from neighbouring Severodonetsk, which was captured by the Russian army last week.

The United Nations humanitarian coordinator in Ukraine said on Thursday 16 million people in Ukraine were in need of humanitarian aid.

‘Offensive’ remarks

Also on Thursday, Russia summoned Britain’s ambassador to Moscow to protest at Johnson’s “offensive” remarks about Putin.

Johnson had said on Tuesday that Putin would not have started the war in Ukraine if he was a woman and said the military operation was “a perfect example of toxic masculinity”.

The Russian foreign ministry said: “In polite society, it is customary to apologise for remarks of this kind.”



I Am Praying To God On Who To Support For President In 2023 – Ortom


Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, on Thursday said he was consulting with God on his choice for president in 2023.

He made the comment on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

Mr Ortom is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) but he has accused the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar of not properly consulting stakeholders in choosing a running mate.

READ ALSO: PDP Is Taking Action To ‘Address The Feelings Of All Party Members’ – Atiku

While reiterating that the party is supreme, Mr Ortom said he is “hibernating” when asked if he may consider supporting a candidate outside the PDP.

“I am into hibernation,” he said. “I am praying. Let me go spiritual. The bible says, ‘as many as are led by the spirit of God are the sons of God’.

“I want to be led by God. After my prayers, God will direct me.

“When I say I am confused, I have to go back to the drawing board and ask God, what should I do?

“So, by the time I come out of hibernation, I will know what to do.”

Consult Wike

Mr Atiku chose Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa as his running mate for the 2023 election.

But Mr Ortom said 14 out of 17 members of a committee set up by the party to guide the presidential candidate had preferred Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.

He argued that Mr Atiku should have consulted with Mr Wike before announcing Okowa as his running mate.

“The candidate who won the primary has the final say, I have no problem with that,” Mr Ortom said.

“But I think that moving forward Wike would have been reached out to. Even some of us who were supporting Wike, we would have been told.”

The situation is already causing major concerns for the PDP.

On Wednesday, former Ekiti State Governor and PDP chieftain, Ayodele Fayose, said the Presidency must return to the south in 2023.

Mr Atiku is a northerner.

Taking action

Earlier on Thursday, Mr Atiku had said the PDP is taking steps to address the concerns of each of its members.

“The PDP will remain united,” Mr Atiku said in a series of tweets.

“Focus on our actions. We are taking action to address the feelings of all party members. The unity in our community is my priority. Our resolve to unify Nigeria starts in our party and moves to the community, then on to society.

“Every Governor, Legislator, and other elected officials produced by our party, and party members and loyalists, are much loved and respected by me.

“When they speak, I listen. I do not only listen. Appropriate actions have been taken, are being taken, and will continue to be advanced.”

Police Arrest Two Armed Robbery Suspects On Wanted List

A map of Edo, a state in the southern region of Nigeria.


Two suspected armed robbers have been arrested in Edo State as part of efforts by the police to rid Edo State of criminal elements.

Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Jennifer Iwegbu, disclosed this via a statement issued on Thursday.

She identified the suspects simply as one Oseghale and Abdullahi, saying they were nabbed by police operatives on Wednesday following credible intelligence received.

The suspects were said to have been terrorising the Agbede area and had been placed on the police wanted list.

They were reportedly tracked and arrested at their hideout in the Aviele area of Agbede in the Etsako West local government area of the state.

Items recovered from them included one locally-made pistol, two live cartridges, and a Toyota Camry car with reg. number KTU-970-GG and weed suspected to be Indian hemp.

According to the police spokesperson, the suspects are cooperating with the police investigation and will thereafter be charged in court.

This is even as the Commissioner of Police, Abutu Yaro, reiterated the Command’s commitment to raiding criminals’ hideouts.

He promised to maintain the tempo until criminal elements change their ways or relocate from Edo State.

Hijab ruling: Drama as lawyer wears pastoral robe to Anambra court

A drama was staged at the Okpoko magistrate court in the Ogbaru Local Government Area, near Onitsha, Anambra State, on Thursday, when proceedings were disrupted as a lawyer, identified as Ogbachalu Goshen, appeared in court dressed in full priest robes, looking like a reverend. The court proceedings, presided by Her Worship CB Mbaegbu, were on

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Delta APC hails lawmaker’s emergence as Omo-Agege running mate

The All Progressives Congress Governorship Campaign Organisation in Delta State has applauded the emergence of the immediate past Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Friday Osanebi, as the running mate to Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, the party’s governorship candidate for the 2023 general election in the state. Osanebi, a lawyer and three-time member

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Money laundering: Mompha’s absence stalls court proceedings again

The absence of social media celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha popularly known as Mompha, again on Thursday has stalled his alleged N6 billion money laundering trial before Justice Mojisola Dada of the Ikeja Special Offences Court. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission charged Mustapha and his company, Ismalob Global Investment Ltd with eight counts bordering on money

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Bamise: Murder trial continues despite counsel’s absence, three witnesses testify

Justice Sherifat Sonaike of the Lagos High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square on Thursday ordered the trial of Nice Omininikoron, the suspect in the murder of a 22-year old fashion designer, Oluwabamise Ayanwola, to continue despite the absence of the defense counsel, Abayomi Omotubora, for the third consecutive time. Omininikoron was facing four

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Labour To Hold One-Day Nationwide Protest Over Insecurity, ASUU Strike


The organised labour movement is planning to hold a protest on the state of the nation.

The protest is to call the attention of the government to the country’s deteriorating security situation, the lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the unending energy crisis.

Speaking at two separate conferences in Abuja, the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr Ayuba Wabba and the President of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Mr Ambali Olatunji, decried the worsening security situation in the country and asked the government to act.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Kill Scores, Abduct Several Chinese Nationals In Niger State

“For four months and running, the children of the poor have remained at home,” Mr Wabba said.

“Today as we speak, Diesel is selling for more than N800 per litre. There is no way this situation can be allowed to continue.

“So I think there’s an urgency in addressing this issue.

“And therefore, central working committee decided that there will be a one-day national protest to call the attention of government to resolve this issue immediately.”

The labour leaders also discussed other issues, including the ongoing constitution amendment, especially the aspect that touches on the autonomy of the local government and the judiciary.


UFC 276: Adesanya Plans To ‘Finish’ Canonnier In Sixth Title Defence

Israel Adesanya


Israel Adesanya plans to ‘finish’ Jared Cannonier in their UFC276 headliner on July 1 in Las Vegas as he aims to retain his Middleweight belt.

Speaking at his exclusive pre-fight interview, ‘The Last Stylebender’ believes he would be ‘too much’ for his American opponent; The Killa Gorilla’ when they face off at the T-Mobile Arena, early Sunday morning, Nigerian time.

He said his approach to the fight will be calculative and patient while picking Cannonier apart before ultimately knocking or choking him out as he aims to prove his doubters wrong after his last two fights went to the judges scorecards.

READ ALSO: Police Arrest Six Burglars Who Raided Ronaldo’s House

Although Adesanya acknowledges Cannonier’s power, the 32-year-old says he is not too bothered and that his power does not make him any more dangerous, saying he will neutralize his main strength by being evasive in the Octagon.

Adesanya also revealed that he used to be cool with Cannonier but that will not be the case in the build up to the fight after the American talked smack about him and has promised to make an example of him just like he did to Paulo Costa at UFC 253 on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.

UFC 256 will be Adesanya’s sixth title defence since winning the belt against Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 236 in 2019.

Since then he has recorded wins over Robert Whittaker(twice), Yoel Romero, Paulo Costa and Marvin Vettori.

Adesanya’s UFC record stands at 22 wins with just one loss while his opponent, Cannonier has 15 victories to go along with five defeats.