Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue state, has backed the endorsement of Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party, by ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Obasanjo, in his New Year message to Nigerians, had endorsed Obi’s presidential bid, saying the LP candidate has an edge over the other candidates.
Commenting on the development on Tuesday, Ortom said if he were not a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he would have personally led Obi’s campaign across the country.
Ortom said he is convinced that Obi “possesses the qualities of a leader who will be a true president of this country by guaranteeing justice, equity and fairness for all Nigerians”.
“Governor Ortom strongly recommends Peter Obi to Nigerians as the man who has the capacity to effectively tackle the economic, security, and other challenges facing the country,” he said in a statement signed by Terver Akase, his spokesperson.
“The Governor stresses that for some years, the country has been tottering on the verge of collapse, owing to leadership failure and its attendant consequences of poverty, heightened insecurity with banditry, kidnappings, and other acts of terrorism threatening the very foundations of the nation.
“He says the President that Nigeria needs at this challenging time in the country’s history is one who understands the urgent need to unite the people and speedily initiate policies and actions to redirect the ship of the nation on the path of growth and development and emphasizes that Peter Obi has all such qualities.
“Governor Ortom lauds Chief Obasanjo for once again demonstrating objectivity, truth, and patriotism as a statesman whose views on national issues must be taken seriously.”
Obasanjo’s endorsement of Obi had elicited reactions from the two major political parties, with the All Progressives Congress (APC) describing it as “worthless” while the PDP said Obasanjo’s stance does not reflect the opinion of Nigerians.