2023: Okowa Pushes for Peace in Meeting with Ortom in Abuja

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The vice-presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, has met with his Benue State counterpart, Sam Ortom, ostensibly to continue the move for a common ground as the party prepares for the 2023 presidential election.

The Delta governor, whose selection as the presidential running mate of the ruffled some feathers, met with Ortom in Benue State Lodge Abuja after the Benue governor softened his opposition to the PDP running mate choice.

Ortom had previously expressed anger that the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, snubbed Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, who the committee set up for the purpose of making a recommendation on the running mate had favored.

The Benue governor had since been pushing for Atiku to placate Wike to enable the party to go into the 2023 election united.

Even though the outcome of Friday’s meeting was not disclosed after the closed-door session, it was believed to be centered on how to win the support of the Wike group in the main opposition party.

However, speaking on the election, Okowa gave assurances that the party will go into next year’s general elections as one united family.

He said the reconciliation process initiated by leaders of the party to resolve all issues that emanated from the presidential primaries and his subsequent emergence as the vice-presidential candidate was on, stressing that at the end, “all issues would be resolved.”

Okowa noted that Wike is a strong party man who has worked very hard for the success of the PDP and would not want to work for another political party.

In his remarks, Ortom said leaders of the PDP are still discussing to correct whatever that may have gone wrong over the running mate choice.

He reiterated that as a critical and major stakeholder of the PDP, Wike needs to be placated to ensure that the reconciliation process was easy and smooth.

The Benue governor also lauded the National Assembly for issuing a six-week ultimatum on President Muhammadu Buhari to step up the fight against insecurity or risk of being impeached. 

He made the declaration when the PDP caucus of the Senate led by the Senate Minority Leader, Philip Aduda paid him a visit in Abuja. 

The Governor described the decision of both the Senate and the House of Representatives to impeach the President as “patriotic” and, particularly commended some members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) who have opted to do the ‘right thing’.

According to him, Buhari has performed far below the expectations of Nigerians in solving both the security and economic challenges of the country and so needs to give way for a more competent person.

Aduda had earlier told Governor Ortom that as a leader of the PDP in the North Central, the delegation considered it appropriate to brief him on the decision of the National Assembly to impeach the President.

He told the Governor that although the impeachment move was initiated by the Senate, the House of Representatives as well as a good number of the APC members have also joined.

Senator Aduda was joined by Senator Orker Jev and Hon Samson Okwu among others.

Ortom also received former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and former Secretary to Government, Babachir Lawal.

All three were involved in a prolonged meeting but revealed nothing about the agenda.

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