Makurdi: Things seem to be falling apart for the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as he stumbles from one unresolved controversy to the other.
On Tuesday, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State and some elderstatemen in the state, Minda Leaders of Thoughts, in a press conference, withdrew their support for Atiku over alleged hate speech and profiling of Benue people.
In a recent comment, after another gruesome killing of Benue citizens by suspected herdsmen, Atiku’s comments appeared to be “blaming the victim instead of the culprit” and even taking sides with Miyetti Allah.
Ortom accused the PDP candidate of dishonoring him as Governor and working against the interest of Benue residents.Ortom’s rejection was triggered by Atiku’s alleged comments on the recent killings by suspected herdsmen in Benue state.The governor allegedly claimed Atiku is working with Miyetti Allah.
Speaking on Tuesday at the Chapel of Grace, Government House, Makurdi, Ortom said, “It was not correct for a presidential candidate who is seeking to rule the people to say that kind of thing.“It was very wrong. And it would appear that he doesn’t even reference me and consider me to be a governor of my state.”
Ortom also said Atiku had sidelined him in selecting his presidential campaign team.Ortom further said, “I am not in his campaign team. The people they appointed there, no consent from me. So, I’ll remain on my own. But I’m waiting; when the election comes, we shall vote the election according to the election.”
Coming at the heels of Atiku’s very dishonorable and unpresidential statement at Kaduna, urging Northerners to vote for him and not vote for a Yoruba or Igbo candidate, he has no claims whatsoever of being a unifier.
Nigerians, especially Christians have not forgotten how “Mr Unifier”, as he calls himself, deleted his tweets condemning the gruesome murder of Deborah Samuel, an undergraduate in Sokoto, by fellow students who are Islamic fundamentalists, just to pacify the so-called fundamentalists and curry their votes.
Till date, the internal crisis within the party arising from the insistence of the G-5 Governors sympathetic to Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State that the Party’s National Chairman, Senator Iyorcha Ayu must resign still lingers.
With Ortom’s declaration, any hope for the resolution of that crisis is most likely gone.