PDP shuts down Makurdi, flags-off campaigns

By James Shim, Victor Ayoo, Matthew Ajai-Kume and Sunday Iduh

Human and vehicular traffic Monday, combined to bring Makurdi to a standstill as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state flagged-off its campaign in the state.

The event which took place at the popular Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) Square had in attendance the five PDP governors opposed to the leadership of Dr Iyorchia Ayu as chairman of the party, namely;  Governors Nyeson Wike of Rivers State; Okezie Ikpeazu, Abia; Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Enugu; Seyi Makinde Oyo and Samuel Ortom of Benue as host and witnessed the absence of the Dr Ayu, who is from the state.

Members of the PDP in the state started trooping to the venue of the flag-off as early as 8am to occupy vantage positions in anticipation of the crowd.

Many who spoke to The Voice Politics at the event believed the unprecedented crowd was testimony that the party was fully on ground and deeply rooted to maintain control of power in the state in 2023.

Rivers State Governor, Wike in his speech described Governor Ortom as a man, who can lay down his life for the state. “We came here to support a man who believes in his people. Your governor is a man who can die for his people. He is some one who will never change for what it takes. Because he believes first, Benue must survive. That is why we have left everything in our states to come and give Benue State support. To tell you that whatever Ortom tells you to do, do it. It will be the interest of the state. This man is a gift to the people of Benue State,” he stated.

Also speaking, Governor of Abia State, Ikpeazu noted that, “the issue at stake in Benue State today is about us choosing life over death. We have seen the efforts Governor Ortom has made about our plight in the state. Anybody who takes us away from our farms takes our lives away. I therefore, urge the people of Benue State to follow Governor Ortom.”

Governor Ortom, while welcoming them thanked the governors for their solidarity. He informed them that PDP looks good in Benue state. “By the grace of God we will win our elections,” he said.

The Deputy Director-General of the gubernatorial campaign in the state, Dr Cletus Tyokyaa said the “mammoth crowd and the caliber of persons in attendance showed that Benue is dominantly PDP.

“It doesn’t mean there are no other candidates coming up but they are very inexperienced when it comes to administration, so I don’t think we shall be handing over to such people.

“What we are saying is that the PDP has brought up very competent people like the gubernatorial candidate, who is Speaker of the state Assembly, who is a ranking member. We don’t want a neophyte.

“We are believing that Benue is a civilized, educated state and was capable of handling any situation to the people’s advantage. Even the issue at the national level of the party can be resolved before elections,” he said.

He hailed Governor Ortom’s political sagacity, noting that he has pitched tent with people of like minds, men of caliber, highly respected and of performers, who have made indelible marks in their own states and can stand by their words like Governor Ortom.

“Governor Ortom is a man of justice, fairness, equity, and there is no way these people that are with him will turn and deny him tomorrow, no they are men of conscience and integrity,” he added.

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