Senator Gabriel’s Suswam re-election may be under threat for abandoning Governor Samuel Ortom in his ongoing rift with presidential candidate of the party for the 2023 elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
A chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Benue State has warned immediate past Governor of the state and Senator representing the Benue North-East Senatorial District, Gabriel Suswam against abandoning incumbent Governor, Samuel Ortom.
Hon. Azua Ashongo who is the Zonal Chairman of the PDP for the Benue North-East Senatorial District gave the warning at a meeting of the party for his zone which he called at the Makurdi residence of Senator Suswam yesterday.
Speaking to stakeholders of the party from the zone at the meeting, with Senator Suswam personally in attendance, Hon. Ashongo queried why the former governor and other leaders of the party in the state have so far been silent on the ongoing rift between Governor Ortom and Atiku Abubakar and National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Iyorchia Ayu both on one side.
The Zonal Chairman who was once a Chairman of Kwande Local Government Council, particularly told Suswam that as immediate past Governor of the state and one of the most influential Benue politicians both locally and nationally, his continuing silence and that of the other Senators as well as other political leaders in the state on the matter has not painted them in such good light before the people.
He cautioned that the fight Governor Ortom is involved in is not a personal one, but for the collective interests of the people, and any Benue leader playing safe on the current situation for self preservation is making a mistake as most Benue people are in support of the governor who they see as having been fighting for them selflessly without minding his own personal political fortunes.
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Hon. Azua Ashongo has being at the top levels of the leadership of the PDP in Benue State since the party’s formation in 1998, having been Council Chairman of Kwande on the party’s platform and also its State Treasurer before his current position as Zonal Chairman.
He called on Senator Suswam to mobilize other PDP leaders in the state to intervene in the crisis before it becomes too late, as according to him, PDP’s chances of winning elections in Benue can only be guaranteed with Governor Ortom and other leaders of the party being together and working together in sincerity and unity of purpose.
It may be recalled that Governor Samuel Ortom and four of his colleagues, Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State and Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, have since the emergence of Atiku Abubakar as PDP’s 2023 Presidential candidate been at loggerheads with Senator Iyorchia Ayu who they demand should resign as national chairman of the PDP.
Senator Ayu had on his own promised to resign as PDP’s national chairman should a presidential candidate of the party for the 2023 elections emerge from the north where he is from, but he has since refused to make good on his promise sparking a crisis with the five governors who have become known as G-5.
The crisis has become protracted with the G-5 who are currently meeting in London threatening to support a presidential candidate for the 2023 polls other than Atiku, and elements among the PDP national leadership on tht other hand threatening to sanction the five governors should they do so.