- The internal crisis rocking the PDP ahead of the 2023 general elections has taken a new frightening dimension in Benue state
- Asawa Joe, a PDP chieftain, said he was beaten up for showing up at Governor Ortom's senatorial rally wearing an Atiku-branded shirt
- Ortom is one of the five PDP governors who are not backing the party's presidential candidate, Atiku, due to the unresolved internal crisis
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Gboko, Benue state - Asawa Joe, a former chairman of the Ushongu local government area in Benue state, says he was physically assaulted for wearing an Atiku-branded shirt at Governor Samuel Ortom’s senatorial rally on Tuesday, November 29.
The chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said this in a video posted on Facebook by Vershima Aondoakaa on Tuesday.
Asawa, who said he is a member of the Atiku Grassroot Movement in Benue state, disclosed that he decided to show up when he got information that Governor Ortom would flag off his campaign in Gboko.
PDP Crisis: Ortom orders beating of ex-council chair for putting on Atiku's shirt? Truth finally emerges
"Over 50 people punching me": Asawa Joe narrates experience
Narrating his experience at the Ortom campaign rally, the PDP chieftain stated:
“I was given the beating of my life at this PDP zonal campaign rally, and we are not known for violence which is marking the flag-off of our governor's senatorial campaign rally. So we got the information that the governor would flag off his campaign in Gboko today.
"I am a member of the Atiku Grassroot Movement in Benue State, and when we got this information, we felt that this is a PDP function and it is an opportunity for us to come and showcase the might of PDP in Gboko. So we mobilised our members because we got the information that various PDP associations are going to be here, and we sensitised our people, and we brought them here. So we went in.
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"When I came here, I entered inside and went to exchange pleasantries with the high table because I'm the immediate past chairman of Ushongu Local Government and I am deeply involved in this PDP activities and we are told that in Benue, PDP is from the bottom to top and that is the message our PDP national chairman has been preaching, and that is the message that the governor himself has been preaching and all of a sudden we came here with the belief that we are going to make PDP proud. When we came here little did we know, and I did not even have foresight that there is a change of message with attitude.
“Those who approached me said who sent me here and who asked me to put on this shirt? This is the shirt that they beat and torn(sic) away, and they said haven’t I got the instruction that they did not want to see anything like PDP here. That is what I heard from them, they started descending on me, beating me with irons, their legs, their hands, boxing me left and right.
"There were over 50 people punching me, it was one youth leader in Gboko here, Shawa Uge, that is the man who saved my life."
In another post on Joe's Facebook page, he said he was beaten to a coma and regained consciousness at the hospital.
"Thank God! Just regain my consciousness at a hospital now. Was beaten to coma for wearing Atiku shirt at PDP rally in Gboko," he said.
Reactions trail Asawa Joe's post
Bishop Joe Ichull said:
"Asawa Joe. That was a huge risk. Next time be more careful feel the direction of the wind before you take flight."
Martins Bagidi said:
"You went to look for trouble nah if they are anti Atiku why parade yourself on Atiku's shirt in their occasion ??"
Anda Orhirga Anda said:
"Chairman! Were you the only person wearing Atiku's shirt? Why is your case different?"
Moses Ahura said:
"Why did you do that when you know the implications? Were you testing the patience of your superior or your courage? Hard luck anyways chair."
Benjamin Terfa Ugema said:
"You explained everything that happened to you when I saw you at the gate of the stadium. But you didn't tell me you were in coma while talking to me. You were on your feet nobody carried you. I don't support any bad thing that happened to you, but it is good to report correctly. That coma thing in your story shouldn't be there bro."
2023 general election: The G5 and the PDP crisis
Governor Ortom of Benue state is one of the G5 governors who are not supporting Atiku Abubakar's presidential bid.
They pulled out of Atiku's campaign after the PDP failed to grant their demand for the resignation of the party's national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu.
Nevertheless, the governors have said they would not leave the PDP.
2023 presidency: PDP crisis worsens as G5 Governors take strong action against Atiku
Speaking during the campaign, Governor Nyesom Wike vowed that the group, now known as ‘Integrity Group’, would continue to fight for equity, fairness, and justice for the benefit of the poor masses.
He also urged Abia residents to follow Governor Okezie Ikpeazu and ensure that all the PDP candidates for the 2023 general election were elected.