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.
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.