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.”
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.
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.”
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Adamu, said on Monday the ruling party had not flouted any laws in naming Kabiru Masari as running mate to its presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
While the APC has not officially announced Masari as its vice-presidency candidate, a chieftain of the party, Kabiru Faskari, confirmed the development to Channels Television on Friday.
Masari is widely believed to be a placeholder to beat INEC’s Friday deadline for the submission of Vice-Presidential candidates.
Reacting to fears that the supposed placeholder may be unwilling to step down when the original candidate emerges, Adamu said the APC preferred to stay positive.
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Adamu, said on Monday the ruling party had not flouted any laws in naming Kabiru Masari as running mate to its presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu. pic.twitter.com/Atu9CGrueu
“We are not in a speculative world,” he said. We are governed by the laws of the land. There’s nothing our presidential candidate has done in regards to submitting of forms that is not within the confines of the laws of the land.
“Everything we’ve done so far, we’ve done very carefully with legal consultations and we are cocksure we are not going to have the kind of speculations that you are professing at this point in time.
“We are very comfortable with what we’ve done. It’s still pessimism and we are not in that school of thought here.”
The presidential aspirant of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, Rabiu Kwankwaso, has revealed that his camp is in talks with Peter Obi and members of the Labour Party over a possible alliance.
There have been speculations of a “third force” to challenge the APC-PDP duopoly and Kwankwaso and Obi are reportedly exploring the possibility of creating an alliance in the 2023 elections.
Speaking in an interview on BBC Hausa, the former governor of Kano state said family and well wishers were optimistic about the grand alliance.
“We are really talking to Peter Obi, or at least saying that the committee is working to look into the matter (and cooperate with him), and friends and family are coming to talk to us about it, ” he said.
“Merging with the Labour Party is very significant at this critical moment especially looking at the fact that both PDP and APC Presidential candidates did not pick their running mates from the South-East.”
Similarly, the official handle of the NNPP conformed to the discussion between both parties on Saturday via its Twitter handle.
“We wish to inform Nigerians that, our discussions with Peter Obi and the Labour Party are still ongoing. The special committee was set to discuss arrangements,” it read.
“We hope for good results that will give Nigeria a chance to be alive, once again.”
“Choosing the vice presidential candidate is an electoral process and it does not stop until the process and schedule ends,” Dr Okupe said. “INEC allows you to present a candidate and later on, if you want to substitute, you may do so, if necessary. But if it’s not necessary, you may as well continue.
“So the present situation is that we believe that this Labour party government that is essentially going to be about young Nigerians. Those of us who have been part and parcel of our sordid past must be prepared to pay the sacrifice, even the personal sacrifice, of allowing a situation we can lift our youths to positions of power and authority.
“I am willing to put down my back, so that young people can stand and come to the top.”
Chief Edwin Clark and Ayo Adebanjo have criticised Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for accepting to run with Atiku Abubakar in the 2023 presidential elections, describing him as “a traitor.”
The elder statesmen made the comment under the aegis of the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum.
In a statement on Friday, they said it was “unspeakable and quite disappointing” that Okowa accepted the Vice Presidency nomination after it had been agreed, by Southern Governors, for the position of President to be zoned to the southern region.
Others who signed the statement include President-General, Middle Belt Forum, Pogu Bitrus and President-General, Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide, Ambassador (Prof.) George Obiozor.
Clark is the leader of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum while Adebanjo heads the Yoruba group, Afenifere.
Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, on Thursday had announced Okowa as his running mate.
See their full statement below:
ATIKU’S VP NOMINATION: YOU ARE A TRAITOR, SOUTHERN, MIDDLE BELT LEADERS BERATE GOVERNOR OKOWA
STATEMENT BY SOUTHERN & MIDDLE BELT LEADERS’ FORUM, SMBLF (17-06-2022)
The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum (SMBLF) has berated the Governor of Delta State, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa for accepting his nomination as Vice Presidential Candidate to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming 2023 general elections. It is unspeakable and quite disappointing that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, who is currently Chairman of the South-South Governors’ Forum, and a native of Owa-Alero in Ika North-East Local Government Area (one of the Igbo-speaking areas) of Delta State, would exhibit such barefaced unreliability.
It bears recalling that the 17 Governors of the Southern States of Nigeria, both of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), under the Chairmanship of the Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, met in Asaba, the capital of Delta State on May 11, 2021, and took far-reaching decisions, including that, based on the principles of fairness, equity and justice, the presidency should rotate to the south, at the end of the statutory eight years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure. And this very Governor Okowa was the host of that historic meeting. The Southern Governors later met again in Lagos, on July 5, where they reaffirmed their decision, and again in Enugu, on September 16, to restate the call that the presidency should rotate to the south in 2023.
It is essential to underline that the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum (SMBLF), applauded the meeting of the governors, given its significant representation and the gravity of the outcome; we followed up and issued a similar statement after our meeting in Abuja on the 30th of May 2021, asking that the presidency should rotate to the south. And went further, on several other occasions, to caution political stakeholders from the South, including serving and former governors, ministers, senators, etcetera, not to, on any account, allow themselves to be appointed or nominated as running mate to any presidential candidate, if the presidency is not zoned to the south and that we will work against such person or persons.
It is, therefore, most unfortunate that the Governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa who should know better, accepted his appointment as running mate to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. We do not have anything personal against Ifeanyi Okowo but his action is treacherous and tantamount to a despicable pawning of the political future of the people of Southern Nigeria.
Sadly, it is also now common knowledge that he spent resources belonging to the government and people of Delta state, to lobby for the position, extensively. And that explains why he never made any statement when his party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), thoughtlessly jettisoned the zoning principle, which has become established as a norm and an intrinsic part of the political trajectory.
It is difficult to fathom how a political party can claim to be on a supposed “rescue mission” with such false footings of unfairness, injustice, duplicity and gross insensitivity to national outlook.
It is regrettable that while most of Governor Okowa’s southern and northern counterparts have maintained gallant, patriotic deference to the unity and peace of the country, above blinkered political considerations, by their resolute stance on the rotation of the presidency to the south in 2023, Governor Ifeanyi Okiwa, the Chairman of the South-South Governors’ Forum, of all people, would gullibly and slavishly capitulated to the bonbon of absurdity. Thus, acceding to a situation whereby, one person rules for eight years and hands over to another of his stock, in a country of at least 360 ethnic groups. What a shame!
The people of southern Nigeria chimed at Asaba, Lagos, Enugu, Uyo, Port Harcourt, Umuahia, and Abuja, continuously on the zoning of the presidency and that another northern presidency after the eight years of President Muhammadu Buhari would be injurious to the unity and peace of the country.
Governor Okowa has, by his action, betrayed the trust reposed on him by his colleagues; the southern governors, the entire good people of southern Nigeria and all well-meaning Nigerians. He has made himself persona non grata, not only, with SMBLF but all citizens who treasure our oneness and hopes of a more united and peaceful Nigeria.
We, therefore, reject Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and his Vice Presidency, and leave him to his lot, but let the world know that this is a betrayal of the highest order.
And that this is not a matter of loyalty to one’s political party, but rather a greedy, parochial and unpatriotic action, committed against the general interest of his State, Delta state, the Niger Delta region, and Southern Nigeria. It is, certainly, also not in the interest of the nation at large.
We commend the patriotism of all Nigerians who cherish our unity and progress as a country and further urge all such Nigerians; in the North and the South; young and mature, the high and mighty; irrespective of religion and tribe, to remain steadfast on the centrality of the presidency to rotating to the South in 2023, in the national interest.
Chief (Dr.) Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, OFR, CON Leader SMBLF/PANDEF
Chief Ayo Adebanjo Leader, Afenifere
Pogu Bitrus President-General, Middle Belt Forum
Ambassador (Prof.) George Obiozor President-General, Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide
Okowa and Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, are among names being mentioned as prospective running mates to the PDP’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
Earlier, the PDP had denied reports that it had ruled out Wike from the Vice Presidential race.
“If anything, our Party reiterates its confidence in Governor Nyesom Wikes’s outstanding ability and commitment to the ideals and values of the PDP,” a statement signed by spokesperson, Debo Ologunagba, said.
“His records of achievement as a Local Government Chairman, Chief of Staff to the Rivers State Governor, Minister of State for Education, currently Governor of Rivers State and the runner-up in the PDP Presidential Primary stand him out as possessing requisite qualities, qualifications, capacity and wide acceptability for the position of the Vice-Presidential candidate of our Party.
“The various positions creditably held by Governor Nyesom Wike distinguished him as an excellent team player in public governance.
“In fact, Governor Wike’s energy, brilliance, commitment and passion were acknowledged by the National Working Committee (NWC) of our Party and he is adjudged as the foremost candidate in consideration for the position of the Vice-Presidential candidate of the PDP.
“While the PDP notes the interest of the media and the public in our Party’s choice of Vice-Presidential candidate it is imperative to state that as an organic Party, all our processes will be followed through in strict adherence to our procedures before any official announcements.
“The PDP urges Nigerians to disregard the mischievous reports aimed at undermining our Party’s unity at this critical time.”
“I have resigned because the process and conduct of the party’s presidential primary on June 8, 2022 at Abeokuta revealed a fundamental clash of values between me and your leadership of the party.
“Despite the circular you issued a few days to the primary committing the party to providing transportation and accommodation for delegates to and in Abeokuta, and which as we agreed would provide a level playing for all the presidential aspirants, the party under your leadership failed to do so. Some aspirants, including myself, made donations to the ADC party account as requested by the party for this purpose. This failure, which appeared intentional, created room for massive abuses of the electoral process including delegate capture and financial inducement of delegates. This is only one of numerous inconsistencies and the absence of transparency and predictability in the management of the party that I had progressively complained about.
“As you are well aware, I have consistently resisted pressures to join the APC or the PDP precisely to avoid “cash-and-carry” politics. For me to remain a member of the ADC therefore, after what thousands of party members participated in at Abeokuta, would be to endorse political corruption of a most obscene order.
“I joined the ADC in October 2021 with the best of intentions. Since then, I have put my entire team to work on growing and improving the party, including raising the party’s visibility on all media platforms, recruiting more than 10,000 new members to the party, and providing new offices for various state chapters of the party at my expense. It is deeply regrettable that other inducements appear to have played more important roles in determining the outcome of the primary than loyalty to the party.”
“Before I went to address the Kaduna delegates for the last time, I went to the President and I asked him, have you decided on who we should vote for? He said, I told you, go and vote for any of the five (candidates selected by APC Governors)
“I said, Mr President, the Kaduna delegates are your delegates, you are going to retire and live in Kaduna. So you can tell me who you want out of the five, and the President said ‘I want all five’.
“I said, what then should I tell Kaduna delegates. He said, tell them to vote their conscience; they are representing 10 million people in Kaduna state. It’s a heavy responsibility, and they should discharge it and pick the best candidate.
“Now I don’t know how the Kaduna delegates voted, but the feedback I got after the voting is that most of them voted for Asiwaju, some voted for Amaechi and some voted for Professor Yemi Osinbajo.”
Ex-Governors of the Peoples Democratic Party have pledged their support to the party’s 2023 presidential flagbearer, Mr Atiku Abubakar.
The ex-Governors made the pledge during a meeting with Atiku in Abuja.
“We are here to reinstate our commitment, our loyalty and our readiness to work for the success of PDP, for the success of Atiku Abubakar as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” former Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, said.
The Governors also asked Mr Atiku to clear the air on where he intends to pick his running mate from.
“But I’m going to ask a question sir, somebody said to me, can you confirm what Waziri Adamawa meant, because yesterday he said his Vice President will come from the Governors,” Aliyu said.
:But he didn’t say former Governors or current Governors. So in your response, please clarify further what that meant.”
Although Atiku did not directly answer the question, the asked the ex-Governors to work towards the party’s success.
“If we can all put our energies in our respective states, local governments and even polling units, nothing should stop us from making sure that we return our party to power,” he said.
“Because there is no single political party that has got the kind of resource persons that we have got today. Let’s put behind whatever political disagreements that have occurred, between the consultants or between whose side you supported and which side you did not support. This is my appeal to all of you.”
“This movement is a movement within a party also, we are not doing something that has not been heard of before,” he said. “What is new is that we have a firm belief that a new Nigeria is possible and it is possible through us who are here.
“We went to the convention, and the results showed us clearly that we lost, but it is only a battle, it is not the war. There are battles ahead, but we will win the war for a new Nigeria. I have no doubt in my mind that we will win that war for a new Nigeria.
“That is why our movement for a new Nigeria must remain strong and firm. And we will do everything to keep our movement strong and solid.”
According to the Vice President, despite the result of the APC Presidential Primary, “the dream of a new country remains alive and well… We will have at the back of our minds, that what you have started in the various movements, coming into one, is the seed that will birth a new nation. You and I know the time has come and we will devote everything to it.
“I am committed and will remain committed to that dream (of a new Nigeria), for as long as you are willing and recognize that we have not yet written the story of this country, we have not yet completed the story of this country. As a matter of fact, the story has just begun, this movement has just started.”
The Vice President further said, “a new Nigeria has only just started, and everywhere across this land, it will be clear to all that a new Nigeria has been born. Once the genie comes out of the bottle, you cannot put it back. The word has been spoken; it cannot be taken back: it is time for a New Nigeria.”
Pledging support for the APC presidential candidate for the 2023 elections, Prof. Osinbajo recalled the personal letter he wrote to Asiwaju yesterday congratulating him on his victory at the party primary.
“In that letter, I said to him that the dream of this country, the dream of a new country remains alive and well. And I want you to know in your hearts that we are democrats when we participate in a contest and the results are announced.
“No matter what those results may be, we abide by them because there is only one process for democrats, whether that process is good or bad, there is only one, and we have gone through that process.
“And in that process, a winner has been adjudged, but that does not kill the dream of the great future. We will support our party; we will support the flagbearer of our party because we know that the other side is not even worth considering. So, we will support the flagbearer of our party, we will do everything we can.”
Thanking Nigerians at home and abroad, including the Osinbajo supporters’ groups, for the overwhelming support for his presidential bid, Prof. Osinbajo noted that “when we started this race, I never believed that we would have so many young men and women who would believe so passionately in the cause of a new Nigeria.”
Expressing his gratitude to them, he said, “everybody said, oh, everyone has lost hope, there is no future, we are all tired, we are in despair. But when you came out in your numbers across the country – the volunteers’ movement, the progressive union, the women’s movement, all across the country, saying the same thing, I knew that it was time. And you made it clear to everyone that indeed it is time for a new Nigeria.
“And we went everywhere to the 36 States of this country and Abuja and we spoke to the elected delegates of our great party the APC, they shared their fears with us, they told us about their dreams of the future, everyone wants a new Nigeria where young people have jobs, we all want a Nigeria that is safe and secure, a Nigeria where there is a future, where people can dream of a real future.
“As I said at the convention, I went to school here, I was born here, my parents were born here. Every opportunity I have had was given to me by this country. “And it is possible for this country to provide the same opportunity for you and all the future generations. But we must fight for it. In every fight, you lose some battles.”
Also speaking, some leaders of Osinbajo Support groups lauded the Vice President for being a true leader and inspiration to millions of Nigerians.
Dr Ahmed Badanga described the Vice President as “a role model to all of us. You are the Obama of Africa. You have made us proud and we will continue to remain with you.”
He added, “yes, we are progressives and we need to move forward. I will urge all of us to remain steadfast and committed to this cause because we have a bright future ahead of us.”
Similarly, a leader of the Coalition of Women for Osinbajo, Hajiya Rabbi Dauda, declared the VP as a ‘winner forever.’
“Your Excellency, we, the women of Nigeria, find it worthy to stand by you. Somehow, you are not the flagbearer today, but you will be the flagbearer tomorrow.
“I want to say to you that this is a continuous process, we will be waiting for you. We are here today to listen to you, to tell us where to go and what to do, and I tell you, we will all be waiting for you, tomorrow and always. Anytime you need us, all you need to do is to call on us and we shall be there for you.”
Also, another leader of a PYO Support group, Mrs. Diana Mary said, “Your Excellency, you have led us to win, we are winners. We are not taking this for granted, you have led a direction that we will continue to follow and we are happy that for the sake of Nigeria you answered the call.
“I want to appeal that we still converge and speak about those things that we need to address so that we can pull a stronger force for Nigeria. This generation of Nigerians is looking for that force that will fight for their future. Your Excellency, whenever you are alone and you think that it is a low moment, I want you to think of the numerous and thousands of us who are behind you and believe in your audacity, drive, and tenacity. You are the star that we know.”
The Vice President was accompanied on the visit to the Campaign Office by former Kano State Governor and the Senator representing Kano South in the National Assembly, Senator Kabiru Gaya; Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu; among other senior government officials.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday asked the All Progressives Congress to unite behind its presidential flagbearer in the 2023 elections, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The President made the comment in a congratulatory statement signed by his spokesperson, Garba Shehu.
“Having emerged victorious he has our full and unwavering support,” he said.
“Now our party must unite behind our candidate to achieve victory at the 2023 elections so that our government will continue to secure our communities, grow our economy and continue the fight against corruption.
“During the Primaries, there were factions and disagreements amongst the contestants and now that the process has ended we must build a united front in our party.
“In this way, the APC will remain the party that can best deliver on the priorities of the Nigerian people. Now it is time to put the process behind us.
“Because what we can all agree is that the APC remains the party that can best deliver on the priorities of the Nigerian people. But the way to demonstrate that we can get on with this job is to unite.
“The movement we created in 2013 is beyond individuals. Together, we made history by becoming the first party in our country’s history to unseat a party in power and propel our candidate into the Presidency through a peaceful democratic transfer of power.
“We strongly believe that Bola Ahmed Tinubu will safeguard and improve on this democratic achievement and legacy. He is the right candidate for Nigeria’s aspiration because he is the APC’s candidate and under the continued stewardship of our party. Nigeria can achieve greatness and fulfill its destiny in Africa and the World.
“The high point of this extraordinary convention of our party was the energy of the Presidential aspirants and it is from amongst them that we have chosen the most popular leader.
“I recognize and commend the enthusiasm and self-confidence amongst our party men and women.
“I also thank the delegates for making the right decision leading to the emergence of our candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.”