Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue, says he has accepted his defeat at the February 25 national assembly poll.
Titus Zam, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, had defeated the governor to clinch the Benue north-west senatorial seat.
Ortom said he would study the results and respond appropriately.
Two weeks later, the governor said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was ready to challenge the outcome at the tribunal, as it was “clinically and electronically” rigged.
However, on Tuesday, Ortom said he had withdrawn his case against Zam “in the interest of peace”.
In an address at the Benue People’s House in Makurdi, the state capital, Ortom said although the elections were marred by malpractices, “nothing can be given to a person, except it is from God”.
He expressed gratitude at the opportunity to lead, saying he ensured that his government was characterised by equity and fairness.
“As a key political player in Benue state whose career has spanned over 40 years, the grace of God has taken me to key positions at the local, state, and national levels within which period I rose to become a local government chairman, state secretary, state deputy chairman and national auditor of PDP, minister of the federal republic and now I am a two-term governor,” Ortom said.
“I must commend the resilience of Benue people who went out to vote during the elections despite the glaring provocation and intimidation by the federal might. I particularly thank the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state for its support. It has been an honour to serve the people of Benue state as governor.
“In the course of serving the state, I have always ensured equity, fairness, justice, and the rule of law. Though there was glaring evidence of malpractices including non-transmission of results electronically during the conduct of the Benue north west senatorial election, I have taken the decision to withdraw my case from the tribunal. As the Bible says in John 3:27 “A man can receive nothing, except it is given to him from heaven”.
“Let me add that the decision to withdraw my case from the court is in the interest of peace and without prejudice to the suits filed by other candidates of our party, PDP. As a leader of PDP, I will continue to support the party in collaboration with other leaders to enable it to bounce back from the mistakes and drawbacks that are affecting it at the moment.
“Let me reassure the people of Benue state that as Governor, I will continue to provide selfless service in all sectors of development till the end of my tenure on May 29, 2023. For those I might have offended in this journey of serving the state and our country, I seek their forgiveness, as I also forgive those who have offended me.”
Ortom is one of the five governors known as G5 — including Nyesom Wike of Rivers, Seyi Makinde of Oyo, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu, who were against the presidential bid of Atiku Abubakar, candidate of the PDP.
The G5 said the election of Abubakar as the party’s flagbearer was a violation of the agreement to zone the presidency in the party to the south.
They also called for Iyorcha Ayu to step down as the party’s national chairman.