Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom may have been left alone in his push for Peter Obi to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari. Ortom has since announced that he is backing the candidate of the Labour Party (LP) for Saturday’s presidential poll. Political giants in the state, including former Senate President, David Mark; Senators Gabriel Suswam and Abba Moro; ex-High Commissioner to Canada, and Ambassador to Mexico, Prof. Iyorwuese Hagher, and former House of Representatives member, Chile Igbawua are mobilising support for the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP’s) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
Ortom, one of the five aggrieved PDP governors (G-5), had insisted that he would not support a Fulani to succeed Buhari. He said: “To hell with Atiku and anyone supporting him. They should go and tell him. You want me to be a slave for a Fulani. It’s better that I die. Anybody supporting Atiku is an enemy of Benue. “My people are being killed, and you want me to be quiet. My tenure ends in May, and you can do whatever you want if you think you have the powers. “I will never support a Fulani man to become President. If there is another person who is ready to work with me and ensure the safety of my people, I will work with him.”
But political analysts say the abrupt break in the political marriage between the governor and PDP bigwigs may be a plus for Atiku’s ambition to capture the state at the polls as his supporters have been wooing people at the grassroots level to vote for the ex-vice president.
Meanwhile, Ortom has vowed to sacrifice his senatorial ambition to ensure victory for Obi. Addressing the Igbo community at the Government House, he said he had gone around his senatorial district and the people had agreed to vote for him.