The governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, has withdrawn from the presidential campaign council of the flag bearer of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
According to the incumbent governor, “I am not in his campaign team. All the people there are not with my consent. But I am waiting. When the election comes, we shall hold the election according to the election.”
Ortom and Atiku recently fell out the past week following accusations of hate speech and profiling of Benue people by the PDP’s presidential candidate.
Mr. Ortom, in return, accused Atiku of working with Miyetti Allah, a herdsmen group with a militant arm.
Furthermore, Benue elder statesmen have followed the path of the governor and withdrawn from Atiku’s campaign team.
Why this matter
With this development, Alhaji Atiku, the presidential candidate of the PDP is not assured of the backing of six PDP governors including Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, Seyi Makinde of Oyo State and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State.
- Although the other five governors withdrew from the PCC for a different reason, the PDP presidential candidate has an endorsement of only seven out of the thirteen member governors.
The big picture
While endorsements from state governors, political stakeholders and mentors in the Nigerian political scene do not guarantee election victory, they go a long way in influencing the choice of voters. PDP’s internal crisis could harm the aspiration of its party’s candidates.