God hasn’t told me to support Atiku yet – Ortom

ed atiku and ortom x
ed atiku and ortom x

By Chiinelo Obogo, Lagos

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has said he is still praying for divine guidance from God before he decides whether or not to support Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 elections.

Ortom who granted Arise TV an interview on Wednesday where he said he will only support Atiku’s presidential bid if God directs him, also expressed disappointment that the former Vice President didn’t choose Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State as his running mate.

Governor Wike had in May come second to Atiku during the PDP’s presidential primary and following Atiku’s victory, a committee was set up by the party to choose his running mate. It was reported that among the three nominees that were presented to the committee, Wike scored the highest votes but Atiku eventually chose Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State as running mate. Atiku’s decision has since created some division amongst all individuals involved and their supporters.

Ortom praised Wike as “somebody who stood for the party and made sure that things worked”, adding that “some of us believed in him” as the party’s best choice for the vice-presidential candidate.

“All of us have our weapon; Wike can be ‘something something’ but when it comes to mobilisation, impact, value addition and reaching out to make sure that the party works the man is an instrument. He’s somebody who stood for the party and made sure that things worked. Some of us believed in him, but unfortunately, it was somebody else. But the party is supreme.


“Some of us have resorted to prayers. I have been in hibernation. We’ve resorted to prayer: ‘Lord God, where do we go from here.’ I believe as a Christian that power belongs to God. The Bible says a man can receive nothing except it is given to him from above.

“I am praying. I have gone into hibernation. I am fasting and praying. So in the end, if God directs me that I should support Atiku, why should I not do it? After all, he’s my party member. But I am waiting for him to do more. I expect him to reach out to Wike, who came second in the presidential primary. The man denied the popular view of the PDP members (14 out of 17) who said Wike should be the vice-presidential candidate. I expect more explanation. I expect him to talk to Wike whom we are supporting first. I expect him to reach out to some of us so that together we can work as a party,” Ortom said.

Related: Road to 2023: Ortom, PDP seeks disqualification of Benue APC governorship, senatorial candidates