2023: Don’t Crucify Us…PDP Hasn’t Thrown Open Presidential Ticket – Ortom Clarifies
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has denied reports that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) zoning committee recommended that the party’s 2023 presidential ticket be thrown open to all geopolitical zones.
According to Ortom, the recommendation of the committee which was submitted to the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) on Monday has yet to be made public.
Speaking on Arise TV’s ‘The Morning Show’ which was monitored by THE WHISTLER on Tuesday, Ortom urged members of the party who were infuriated by the reports to not “crucify” or “kill” the zoning panel members as their decision has not been made public.
“I want to clear the insinuation that the zoning committee has thrown open the presidential ticket. I did inform the media yesterday (Tuesday) that the committee has adopted a unanimous position to be presented to the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party. Where did I say that the committee has thrown open the presidential ticket?
Ortom noted that “It is NEC that has the final authority on the zoning of positions.”
The governor said personally, he supports the calls for the presidential ticket to be zoned to the South, adding that there were also arguments amongst members of the committee that the ticket “should go to the South. While some said it should go to the Northern part of the country. There were others who were of the opinion that it should be thrown open for the best candidate who will be able to deliver good governance and make Nigerians feel like human beings again.”
Governor Ortom stressed that the information that the party has thrown open its presidential ticket did not emanate from him, saying “it is very wrong for anyone to insinuate that we have thrown the presidential ticket open. I am still repeating that, whatever we did, we have submitted our report to NEC. So, it is wrong for the media to come out with a position despite the fact that they were not members of the committee.
“I came out to brief the media. So, it is wrong completely. I did not say that. And like I said, NEC is the final authority on deciding where this position will be zoned to.”
He recalled that when the party positions were being zoned before the national convention, “NEC directed us that in zoning these positions, go and do it right without minding where the president will come from yet. That when the time comes for the presidential, a mandate will be given to the people and NEC will take a decision. That is what we have done.”
The governor added that the party leadership is “Consciously working towards ensuring that the party gets it right thing this time. I believe that at the end, the right thing will be done,” stressing however that, “Preempting the committee’s work and NEC decision is not correct. I want to appeal that NEC will soon invite us to a meeting and then we can move on from there,” the governor stated.
“At the end of the day, the most important thing to the PDP is what the party can do to bring the economy and security situation back to normalcy,” because “If nothing drastic is not done about the present situation in the country, a time will come when even the Presidential Villa and other government houses will be taken over by the terrorists. They are already closing in on us and we seem to be helpless. Everyone must team up to fight for justice, equity and fairness,” he stated.