2023: Atiku rejected overwhelming recommendations to nominate Wike as running mate – Ortom

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The Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has said that the 2023 presidential candidate of PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar jettisoned overwhelming recommendations to appoint the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike as his running mate.

Ortom stated this during an interview on Arise TV on Wednesday.

Recall that Atiku appointed Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa as his running mate after clinching the party’s ticket.

Explaining his decision, Atiku hinged it on Okowa’s readiness for the job ahead.

The presidential candidate said he held wide consultations with various PDP stakeholders including governors, the national working committee, board of trustees, and other leaders to seek their inputs and their wisdom.

But speaking during the interview, Ortom noted that Atiku jettisoned the recommendation of 14 out of 17 members of a committee that recommended Wike as his running mate.

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He said that the Rivers governor, who placed second in the presidential primaries of PDP, deserved an explanation from Atiku on why he was overlooked for the vice presidential candidacy.

Ortom said that Wike deserved the vacation he is currently taking in Turkey after all he went through.

“My friend Wike deserves the vacation after what he has gone through. Some of us believe he (Wike) has the capacity and Charisma to lift this country from bottom to top compared to what has been happening. We have been taken from the top in 2015 to the bottom since this present administration came into power.

“Some of us believe that Wike has the capacity but Nigerians or let me say the PDP people did not give him the opportunity. Some of us rooted for him. I was amongst the 17-member committee that was set up by the candidate himself and the party and some of us said that for the vice presidency of the party, we needed Wike to be the vice president so that he can bridge the gap.

“We (the committee) said it does not matter whether he supported the presidential candidate or not, all we are looking for is unity and how we can make things work. Unfortunately, it was said that it is Governor Ifeanyi Okowa who is also a PDP member. And that is the wisdom of the presidential candidate.

“Some of us have resorted back to prayers because I am really confused. I felt that Wike would have been the vice-presidential candidate of the party after losing the presidential ticket to Atiku. He was the second person to Atiku and Wike has the charisma.

“All of us have our weak spots. Wike can be ‘something something’, but when it comes to mobilisation, impact, value addition and reaching out, and making sure that the party works, Wike is an instrument. Wike is somebody who stood for the party and makes sure that things work.

“So, for some of us, we believe in him but unfortunately, it was somebody else and it doesn’t matter because the party is supreme. But for some of us, now I have resorted to prayers and if you haven’t seen me in Turkey, it is because I am praying.

“I have resorted to prayers: Lord God, where do we go from here? Where is our country going and what is our problem? I tell you as a Christian, that I believe that power belongs to God. John 3:27 says “A man can receive nothing except it is given to him from above”. If God says it is Atiku and if God says it is whoever, that is all,” Ortom said.

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