Gov Ortom withdraws support for Atiku, accuses him of working against Benue

Atiku Abubakar and Samuel Ortom

Atiku Abubakar and Samuel Ortom

Governor Samuel Ortom has withdrawn his support for Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), accusing him of rallying behind Fulani herdsmen against the Benue people.

The Benue governor said he had been left on the sidelines by Mr Atiku.

Mr Ortom said he is not on the PDP’s national campaign team because he was neither invited nor consulted by Mr Atiku. He also said members of the campaign team from Benue state were selected without his consent or approval.

“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 accordingly in the election,” Mr Ortom said on Tuesday.

Mr Ortom chided the PDP presidential flag bearer for his recent comments on the most recent killings in the state by suspected herdsmen.

He accused Mr Atiku of dishonouring his office as governor and working against the interests of the Benue people.

Mr Atiku earlier said Benue state’s description of the suspected herdsmen amounted to the profiling of the Fulani ethnic group.

“It was not correct for a presidential candidate who is seeking to rule the people to say that kind of thing,” Mr Ortom said. He added, “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.”

Mr Ortom is now the latest PDP governor not supporting the presidential bid of Mr Atiku, joining the clique of Seyi Makinde of Oyo, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia and Nyesom Wike of Rivers.

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