Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has urged the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to go to Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and appeal to him, even as he stressed the point that the Rivers Governor is a pillar of the PDP, which everybody knows and it was an insult to just put a call to him after the brouhaha that attended the vice presidential nomination exercise episode

Governor Ortom, who appeared on Arise TV on Wednesday, June 29 morning, in no-holds-barred interview, with anchors, Dr. Reuben Abati and Rafiu Oseni, also claimed that it was Wike who brought him back to the PDP in 2015 when he was treated unjustly and while adding that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa was his good friend and he had nothing against his emergence as the Vice Presidential Candidate, insisted that he was presently in hibernation to meditate and seek divine guidance on whether to support the PDP Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar or not, in the 2023 elections

REUBEN ABATI: What is happening in your party , we sense some silence around it .

Below is an excerpt from the interview session:

SAMUEL ORTOM: I was among the 17 member committee set up by Atiku and 14 of us in the committee said the person should be Wike. Unfortunately, Atiku picked Okowa, that is his wisdom .

You cannot ignore the decision of a committee you set up yourself and expect people to be happy. For now, I have gone into hibernation.

REUBEN ABATI: Mr. Ortom , will you support the candidature of the PDP?

SAMUEL ORTOM: I am in hibernation. I Am praying. When I finish the prayers and whatever God directs me, I will do. We expect Atiku to do more but we are not seeing that.

RUFAI OSENI: Party sources are saying that the camp of Atiku is trying to reach out to Wike but he has been ignoring their calls.

SAMUEL ORTOM: They should stop that.
Atiku should go to him. Why won’t he (Wike) ignore their calls. Is that not an insult? Wike is a pillar in the party. Everybody knows that. Currently, nobody in the party has contributed more for the party to move forward than Wike.

Why do you just send calls to Wike, you should have to go to him. The Leadership of the party should go to him and appeal to Wike. They have treated him badly.

If Atiku was not going to honour the decision of the committee, he should have called Wike earlier and informed him. He didn’t do that.

You can’t do things anyhow and expect us to be happy.

“When people left the party, Wike was on ground. It was Wike that brought me back to PDP when I was treated unjustly.

“He brought me back to PDP in 2015. You have treated Wike badly. The party and national leadership should go to him and appeal to him. He came second to Atiku.”

Polity watchers will quickly recall that Governor Samuel Ortom’s strong position on Governor Nyesom Wike and the fallout from the PDP Vice Presidential nomination process, is coming in the wake of similar earlier comments credited to Sen. Walid Jibrin, Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, BOT, in which the elder statesman was widely reported to have declared that the PDP would do whatever it takes to ensure that Governor Wike does leave the PDP.

One version of the story, which was widely reported in the media, has the headline: WE’D KNEEL BEFORE WIKE IF THAT WILL MAKE HIM REMAIN IN PDP – PDP BOT CHAIRMAN and reads thus:

Walid Jibrin, chairman of the board of trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says the party will do whatever it takes to ensure Nyesom Wike doesn’t defect.

We in PDP know how to solve our problems. We know that governor Nyesom Wike may not be happy. It is the intention of this party to constitute a reconciliation committee that will meet Wike to talk to him, appeal to him, and pray that he will not leave our party,” he said.

Jibrin described Gov Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, CON, as “a great man who has been fighting for the party, and the party will not want to see him moving to another party”.

He also said the party will meet with all the persons who participated in the primaries.

We will all visit Wike together and if it means kneeling to Wike, we will kneel for him,” the BoT chairman said.

We respect him. We respect his integrity and honesty in supporting the PDP. It is our belief that in any contest, there must be a winner and a loser.”

Governor Nyesom Wike, who is presently on a well deserved vacation, has not responded to these latest comments and entreaties, although the recent visits by top Political figures like Ebonyi Governor David Umahi, now of APC, Peter Obi of Labour Party and Rabiu Kwankwaso of New Nigeria Peoples Party, had provoked rife speculations that a defection may be on the cards.

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