Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s chief press secretary, Mr. Olisa Ifeajika, has said that Okowa, the People’s Democratic Party’s vice-presidential candidate, did not betray anyone in the party’s presidential primaries.

Ifeajika stated this at a press conference in Asaba on Monday.

He said that as a loyal supporter, Okowa obeyed the PDP’s directives and decisions in all matters related to the presidential convention.

He recalled that the Southern Governors Forum at a meeting in Asaba, resolved and then reiterated at subsequent meetings in Lagos and Enugu, to work towards realizing the southern presidency.

According to him, when the members of the forum returned to their different parties, the decisions varied since each political party had different plans to approach the process of electing a presidential candidate.

“For us in the PDP, the party told the governors that it may not go with their position because we are in the opposition and to get it right, the party created a committee headed by Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom to advise appropriately on ticket zoning.

“The Ortom committee, in their wisdom, recommended that zoning be scrapped to allow all applicants to participate in the primary to allow the best to emerge.

“The commission presented its report to the National Executive Committee of the party where it was agreed to open the presidential ticket to allow the best hands to emerge as recommended.

“To the best of our knowledge, no member, including the governors or the group, protested the party’s decision. They all nodded and accepted the party’s decision on zoning.

“There was no betrayal anywhere because no agreement was reached. The party position prevailed and the delegates in the presidential primary voted however they wanted,” he said.

Ifeajika said that long after the primaries, some people were still talking about treason and wondering where the G-5 governors were when the Ortom Committee submitted its report.

“Why didn’t they raise their voices against the party’s decision not to zone the ballot anywhere and rise up against it?

“They agreed, they participated, only to start a baseless agitation after a candidate had emerged.

“I see the agitation of the G-5 governors as a diversion and ask them to sheathe their swords and withdraw as quickly as possible to join the party’s rescue mission.

“They continue to be very high-ranking members of the PDP and they continue to be an important factor because the upcoming elections are a handful of fruit for the PDP to pick from if we close ranks. We think Nigerians would vote for the party,” he added.

On the G-5 governors’ agitation over Ayu’s dismissal, Okowa’s spokesman said it was a constitutional issue that should be addressed at the appropriate time.

“In Rivers State, where Wike dominates as governor, the gubernatorial candidate is from Rivers South and the state party chair is also from Rivers South.

“We didn’t see Wike tell the party chair to step aside because a gubernatorial candidate came from the same senatorial district as him.

“It becomes relevant if Atiku emerges as president and the party president remains in office. There is no law that forces Ayu to resign because the North has put forward the presidential candidate, unless he decides to step aside of his own free will.

“One would have thought that if they continued agitating without yielding results, they would retreat, but if they go ahead to support another candidate besides the PDP presidential candidate, appropriate action will be taken,” he stressed.

On Obasanjo’s endorsement of Peter Obi, he said that Obasanjo simply exercised his constitutional right, adding that Nigerians may not listen to him.

“You will remember that some time ago he tore up his party card and said that he wants to remain a statesman. What he has done is the exercise of his constitutional rights.

“He was up against Buhari in 2019 but then he won and that means a lot of Nigerians didn’t listen to him and that may work this time too,” he said.