…insists he was quoted out of context
By Peter Duru, Makurdi
Benue State Governor and Chairman, Zoning Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Samuel Ortom has dispelled media reports that his committee has jettisoned zoning and thrown open the race for the presidential ticket of the party.
In a statement issued Wednesday in Makurdi by his Chief Press Secretary, Nathaniel Ikyur, the Governor who bared his mind while appearing on the ‘Morning Show’ on AriseTV insisted that his committee was quoted out of context.
The Governor wondered why those who were not part of the meeting of the committee would want to “force words into the committee’s mouth.
“So I want to clear the insinuation that the zoning committee has thrown open the presidential ticket. I did inform the media yesterday that the committee had 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 ticket should go to the South. 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 to allow the best candidate who will be able to deliver good governance and make Nigerians feel like human beings again, contest.
“As the chairman of the committee, I did not say it has been thrown up. 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.
“So it is wrong completely. I did not say that. And like I said, NEC is the final authority on deciding where the position will be zoned to.”
“And the party leadership is consciously working towards ensuring that the party gets it right this time. I believe that at the end, the right thing will be done. 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.
“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 something 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 was quoted as saying.