Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State on Saturday insisted that it is only right for a southerner to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in May 2023.
He spoke at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium during the flag-off of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) state-level campaigns in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
Ortom said he was the first governor from the north to back the Southern Presidency which he said is in the interest of fairness and justice.
“Nigerians, for the sake of equity, fairness, and justice, expect that after eight years of President Buhari, the next President should go to the south irrespective of political affiliation and that is the right thing to do. We are Nigerians and we must ensure that all of us work together,” he said.
The Benue governor said Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State is the right candidate to succeed Buhari but “enemies of progress” ensured he didn’t win the party’s presidential primary in May.
Addressing a large crowd of PDP supporters in Rivers, Ortom said, “Your son from Rivers State contested and it was said that he lost but someone of us believed that he was the right person to unite, bring us together and ensure justice, fairness, and equity for Nigerians.”
He also said enemies of progress denied Wike the running mate ticket to PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar but urged the party’s supporters in the state to work with him and ensure victory for all PDP National Assembly, State Assembly, and Governorship candidates in Rivers.
“I want Rivers State people to work with our governor, Governor Nyesom Wike and at the end of the day, just like the G5, we will decide what we are going to do because Nigeria today is in turmoil and it is only when we do the best that can help us out of our challenges – security, economy, social life – and help us retain our image,” he stated.
The event was attended by Ortom and other members of the PDP G5 – Governor Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu).
The five governors donned black trousers, black hats, and white Etibor outfits synonymous with the Niger Delta zone. Members of the party also filled the stadium to the brim with PDP paraphernalia.
The G5 has been consistent in its demand that Benue-born Iyorchia Ayu steps down as PDP national chairman for “fairness and justice”, saying northerners should be the party’s chair and presidential candidate.
Both Ayu and Atiku (from Adamawa State) were conspicuously absent at the campaign flag-off.