Rivers State governor Nyisome Wike’s engine appears to be losing steam as one of his main allies exits the faction.
Which of the allies? The governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom, on Tuesday distanced himself from the call for the removal of Iyorchia Ayu as the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). This is the first major setback the Wike camp will suffer since the election of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar as the presidential candidate of the party in May.
What changed with Ortom?
According to a report by THISDAY, Ortom’s chief press secretary Nathaniel Ikyur, in a statement, said Governor Ortom has expressed confidence in Ayu’s ability to lead the party to victory in the 2023 general election. Ortom’s latest move appears to have been triggered by allegations by Jemgbagh Development Association, Abuja that he was plotting the downfall of his fellow Benue man, Ayu.
While noting Ortom’s significant role in the emergence of Ayu as national chairman, Ikyur said “the governor could not, therefore, turn around to work against him to be removed from office”.
“Where was Jemgbagh Development Association, when Governor Ortom galvanised support from across the leaders of the party to make Dr. Ayu PDP’s National Chairman? What was their contribution to that project that they now want to use clannish stance to blackmail the governor?”, the statement read.