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2023: Atiku will get 65% of Benue’s votes despite Ortom’s support for Wike, says party chieftain

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A chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) says the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, will get 65 per cent of Benue State votes.

In an interview, Mr Chila, a grassroots mobiliser,  said despite Governor Samuel Ortom’s support for his Rivers counterpart, Governor Nyesom Wike, in the power tussle within the PDP, Mr Abubakar would garner 65 per cent of the state votes.

Mr Ortom had said unless Mr Wike was appeased, PDP would risk losing the state votes during the 2023 presidential election.

However, Mr Chila said regardless of whatever action Mr Ortom would take during next year’s general elections, PDP and its presidential candidate would win elections in the state.

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He said that from 1999 to date, PDP has become very entrenched in Benue.

He added that because PDP National chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, is from Benue, it made it imperative that nothing could change the voting pattern in the state.

“You may wish to know that my governor, Ortom, is also a candidate for the senatorial election in next year’s election. Interestingly, the presidential election and that of the National Assembly come up on the same day.

“So, with Gov. Ortom’s fate tied to that of Vice President Atiku Abubakar, it is impossible for PDP to get less than 65 per cent of the state’s total votes cast.

“And with our son, Dr Ayu as the national chairman, PDP has the bragging rights for the maximum votes from Benue State,” Mr Chila noted.

Mr Chila, who contested the party’s ticket for the Kwande/Ushongo federal constituency, explained that being a predominantly agrarian state with more population in the rural communities, no other political party could achieve rural penetration more than PDP.

He expressed confidence that with the security and economic challenges facing the country, including Benue, the state would vote for Mr Abubakar, who has the capacity to address the challenges.

“We need stability, and security, and Benue State voters know that the only man that can pull Nigeria back from the precipice is Abubakar.

“The former Vice President is not coming to the presidency as a learner but will bring his wealth of experience to bear on national reconstruction.”

On the calls by some PDP stakeholders for Mr Ayu to resign, Mr Chila said those making the calls were either mistaken or mischievous, saying Mr Ayu emerged through a foolproof process that was not controversial.

He said telling Mr Ayu to quit when he had not committed any impeachable offence amounts to questioning the very rudiments of democracy.

“Ayu has not committed any offence. Therefore, anybody asking him to leave office is indirectly calling for the proscription of PDP, which is not attainable in a democracy.

“People should look beyond Ayu as an individual, he represents that party on account of the mandate freely given to him.

“If I may add, what would be the compensation for North-Central if Ayu resigns?

“The North-Central has been making sacrifices for the growth and stability of PDP.

“Do we have to wait for 24 years before being considered for the presidential ticket, why must we throw away the consolation prize of national chairman?” Mr Chila asked.

(NAN)

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