The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, on Friday, rued his failed senatorial bid, saying the ‘market was not good’ during his outing to claim a seat at the Red Chambers of the National Assembly.
He said with his failed senatorial bid, he would likely return to his farm or find something else to do after he hands over to the incoming administration on May 29, 2023.
The PUNCH reports that Ortom’s senatorial aspiration was dashed following his defeat on February 25 when he lost to his former aide, Titus Zam.
Ortom was also among the G5 governors who lost their senatorial bids. The G5 governors, also known as the Integrity Group are aggrieved governors of the Peoples Democratic Party who demanded the resignation of the party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, and boycotted the Peoples Democratic Party presidential campaigns.
When asked on Friday while featuring on Arise Television’s Morning Show that ‘how was the market’ after he lost the senatorial election, Ortom said though ‘the market was not good’, he had prepared for the outcome.
Responding to the question, he said, “The market (senatorial bid) for me is not good. This time around, the market is not good but I will be here (as Benue governor) till May 29 when I will handover by the grace of God. I will find something else to do. I may go back to my farm as far as I am concerned.”
He added that despite his loss, he was consoled by the fact that the G5 governors achieved the dream of ensuring that the presidency return to the South.
He said, “I and others (G5 governors) were able to achieve the desire of our members, the integrity group. Because the G5 came out as a result of the fallout of the PDP primary election and party convention in 2022. Some of us believe that there should be a power shift. Nigeria is a country of over 250 ethnic groups and in the past, we have been known to rotate the presidency from North to South we felt that it was wrong for the PDP to have given the presidency to the north when the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari is from the North and the same region still producing his successor and we maintained that that was not good for the unity of the country.
“Some of us were concerned about how we can make things work for Nigeria because we don’t have any other country to go to. I don’t have any investment in any other place other than Nigeria. So, we are concerned that let this country be together and it is in our gentlemanly unwritten agreement that when the presidency is in the North for 8 years, it should go to the South for the next 8 years. So, this is what we stood for.
“Truly, I wanted my friend Governor Nyesom Wike to win and I supported him during the primaries and he didn’t make it. But we supported others who demanded that the presidency should go to the South. And you will recall that when the Southern governors met in Asaba and said the presidency should go to the South irrespective of wherever it will come out from, once it is from the South, it is okay. I was the first governor in the North that came out the following day and said truly, what the Southern governors have said was right.
“Thank God for the APC governors who came in their numbers from the North after that and said they want equity, fairness, and justice and let the presidency, after Buhari’s tenure of 8 years, goes to the South. I commend them and I appreciate them but I was the first person who came out immediately after this request was made by the Southern governors.
“So, for me, on questions of whether I have lost my senatorial bid based on that, of course even before the election, I did say that it does not matter whether I lose my senatorial bid but let the real thing be done. The Bible says that ‘You shall know the truth and let the truth set you free’. There are issues that have to be resolved which are anchored on the rule of law and ensuring equity, fairness, and justice in every aspect of our lives in Nigeria. This is what is lacking and we cannot just be on the fence.
“Me losing my senatorial election does not really matter to me. And that was why it is part of glaring evidence that if I go to court, I may win or may lose but I decided to stay back and withdrew the case because initially, I filed a suit but I had to withdraw it and say that look, let there be peace.
“I decided to withdraw the case irrespective of the evidence that I have on whether rigging took place or whether the federal might or security might were used, and the non-transmission of results electronically as was promised by INEC because you cannot shift the goal post in the middle of the game. But all these put together, I say look, let me have my peace, after all, the Benue people have been good to me and I have served them at almost every level, and for that, I am grateful to God.”