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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Zoning: Committee Did Not Recommend Open Presidential Ticket – Ortom

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George Kajo, Makurdi

Benue State Governor and Chairman, Zoning Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Samuel Ortom has dismissed insinuations in the media that the committee has thrown the presidential ticket of the party open.

He insisted that the committee was being quoted on what it did not say.

The governor who bared his mind on Wednesday when appeared on the ‘Morning Show’ an AriseTV prime time programme queried why those who were not part of the meeting of the committee would want to “force words into the committee’s mouth.”

The governor who frowned at the caption on the news bar while the interview lasted quipped: “I want to clear the insinuation that the zoning committee has thrown open the presidential ticket. I did inform the media that the committee has adopted a unanimous position to be presented to the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party.

“Where did I say that the committee has thrown open the presidential ticket? “The committee will present the report to NEC. It is NEC that has the final authority on the zoning of positions.”

“As far as the committee was concerned, there were arguments that the presidential candidate should go to the South. While some said it should go to the Northern part of the country. There were others who were of the opinion that it should be thrown open for the best candidate who will be able to deliver good governance and make Nigerians feel like human beings again.”

He continued that, as the chairman of the committee, we did not say that, pointing out that, it is very wrong for anyone to insinuate that the committee have thrown the presidential ticket open.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Nathaniel Ikyur, quote the governor as saying that the committee’s recommendations have been submitted to NEC of the party that sent them.

“It is therefore, wrong for the media to come out with a position despite the fact that they were not members of the Committee. I did not say that. And like I said, NEC is the final authority on deciding where this position will be zoned to.”

Governor Ortom recalled that, when the party positions were being zoned before the national convention, NEC directed us that in zoning these positions, we should do it rightly without minding where the president will come from yet.

That when the time comes for the presidential, a mandate will be giving to people and NEC will take a decision and that is what the Committee have just done and caution against hitting the polity.

According to the statement, the party leadership was consciously working towards ensuring that it get it right this time such that at the end, the right thing will be done, stressing however that, preempting the committee’s work and NEC decision is not correct.

Governor Ortom maintained that at the end of the day, the most important thing to PDP is what the party can do to bring the economy and security situation back to normalcy.

“If nothing drastic is not done about the present situation in the country, a time will come when even the Presidential Villa and other government houses will be taken over by the terrorists. They are already closing in on us and we seem to be helpless”.

He said everyone must team up to fight for justice, equity and fairness for all.

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