I'm willing to sacrifice my senatorial ambition for Peter Obi to become president - Governor Ortom


Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has taken his support for Peter Obi a step further, saying he was willing to sacrifice his senatorial ambition for the Labour Party (LP) candidate to win Nigeria’s presidential election.

The election will hold this Saturday, 25 February.

Mr Obi, who has energised the Nigerian youths since he joined the race, is one of the three major candidates for the election. The others are Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and a former Vice President of Nigeria Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“For me, it’s not even that I’m contesting an election. Yes, the form was bought for me by the people of Benue State. I’ve gone round; they have accepted that they will vote (for) me.

“But if I’m to sacrifice my senatorial ambition for Peter Obi to win, so shall it be,” Mr Ortom said on Monday while addressing the Igbo community in Benue State, according to a report by the Channels TV.

The governor, who is a member of the PDP, was probably reacting to the possibility of being sanctioned by the PDP national leadership for being a part of the internal rebellion against the party and its presidential candidate, Atiku.

After Atiku defeated Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and other aspirants to emerge as the PDP presidential candidate in May last year, Messrs Wike, Ortom, and three other governors came together to form the G5 which is opposed to northern Nigeria producing President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor.

Mr Buhari is from Katsina State, north-west Nigeria.

The other governors who are members of the G5 are Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu State), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia State), and Seyi Makinde (Oyo State).

The group had been campaigning without success to force the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, to resign and pave the way for a southerner to lead the party to achieve a “regional balance”.

Mr Wike, after he may have sealed a deal with the APC candidate, Mr Tinubu, said recently that it was impossible for him and the G5 to negotiate peace with Atiku.

‘Obi’s matter is about Nigeria’

Mr Ortom said the LP candidate, Mr Obi, represents an opportunity for the Igbo in the South-east to produce a Nigerian president.

He, however, described Mr Obi as “a species that is not bound by ethnicity”.

“Let us not miss this opportunity that God himself is providing. The youth have told me, my own people have told me – stakeholders here, traditional rulers, party people across party lines. Obi’s matter is not about APC or PDP or SDP or any other party. It’s about Nigeria.

“That is why when I hear some prominent Igbo personalities castigating Peter Obi for contesting the election – is it you people that have been saying you have been marginalised since after the war?

“The opportunity has come today and you’re still complaining. What do you want?! What are you looking for?

“The whole country – North, South, East, and West – are saying Peter Obi, and you hear some people say, ‘We don’t want it.’ Haba! Those people should be outcasts,” Governor Ortom said.

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