Benue State Governor and Chairman, Zoning Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Samuel Ortom said the zoning committee did not throw presidential ticket of the party open as carried in media reports.
The Governor described the media reports as fake, adding that the committee was being quoted on what it did not say.
In the statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Nathaniel Ikyur, said the zoning committee will present its report to PDP NEC which has the final decision.
The statement reads in parts: “The governor who bared his mind Wednesday, April 6th, 2022 while appearing on the ‘Morning Show’ an AriseTV prime time programme querried 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 yesterday (Tuesday, April 5, 2022) 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?
“He maintained that “The committee will present the report to NEC. It is NEC that has the final authority on the zoning of positions.”
“He explained that, “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: “As the chairman of the committee, we did not say that. So it is very wrong for anyone to insinuate that we have thrown the presidential ticket open. I am still repeating that, whatever we did, we have submitted our report to NEC. So it is wrong for the media to come out with a position despite the fact that they were not members of the committee.
“I came out to brief the media. So it is wrong completely. 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, go and 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. That is what what we have done.”
” The governor then implored the media not to, “Crucify us. Don’t kill us before you get the answer because PDP have not brought up a report, insisting, ” that will be done by NEC.”
” He said the party leadership is “Consciously working towards ensuring that the party gets it right thing this time. I believe that at the end, the right thing will be done,” stressing however that, “Preempting the committee’s work and NEC decision is not correct. I want to appeal that NEC will soon invite us to a meeting and then we can move on from there,” the governor stated.
“Governor Ortom maintained that “At the end of the day, the most important thing to the PDP is what the party can do to bring the economy and security situation back to normalcy,” because “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. Everyone must team up to fight for justice, equity and fairness,” he stated.”