Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state has said he is willing to sacrifice his senatorial ambition to ensure victory for Peter Obi, the Labor Party’s presidential candidate.
Ortom revealed this while addressing members of the Igbo community in the state on Monday.
Recall Ortom, a member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, is contesting the election in the Benue North-West senatorial district.
Ortom’s endorsement of Obi came after months of political differences with the PDP’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
The governor reiterated his support for the former Anambra state governor, saying: “For me, it’s not even that I’m running an election. Yes, the form was bought for me by the people of Benue State. I have turned around; they have accepted that they are going to vote [for] me.
“But if I have to sacrifice my senatorial ambition for Peter Obi to win, so be it.
“I know if [any group of] people are connected in this world, they are the igbo. This is his chance to say that an Igbo man from the south-east is president.”
Ortom identified with those who believed in Nigerian unity and working together, saying that’s why he suits everyone.
“So, let’s not lose this opportunity that God himself is providing. Young people have told me, my own people have told me: stakeholders here, traditional rulers, party people across party lines. The Obi issue is not about APC, PDP, SDP or any other party. It’s about Nigeria.”
Ortom described Obi as a species not bound by ethnicity.
He said: “That is why when I hear some prominent Igbo personalities criticize Peter Obi for contesting the election, aren’t you the ones who have been saying that you have been marginalized since after the war?
“The opportunity has come today and you are still complaining. What do you want?! What are you looking for?
“The whole country, the north, the south, the east and the west, say Peter Obi, and you hear some people say: ‘We don’t want it.’ Bean! Those people should be outcasts.”