Nyesom Wike, the governor of Rivers State, on Saturday, November 19, 2022, escalated his longrunning war of words with the leadership of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, declaring that neither he nor his G5 governor allies, would work for the party’s presidential candidate, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, at next year’s elections.
He also doubled down on corruption allegations against National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, challenging him to sue if the accusations were untrue.
Wike made the claims when the Rivers State chapter of the PDP launched its campaign for the 2023 elections at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Omagwa in Port Harcourt.
Governors Wike, Seyi Makinde (Oyo State), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), have been at daggers drawn with Atiku since the conclusion of the party’s presidential primaries in May over their insistence that Ayu steps down for a member of the party from the southern part of the country.
Efforts made by the Atiku camp to make the aggrieved governors have a change of mind have yielded no result as they have consistently boycotted Atiku’s campaign rallies.
Any hope of Wike’s camp making up with Atiku’s became even more remote at yesterday’s rally as the Rivers State governor declared that the PDP presidential candidate was on his own as Rivers people would no longer dissipate their energy working for “their enemies”.
And that much was obvious as the 38,000-capacity stadium was filled to the brim without the image of the party’s presidential candidate anywhere in sight.
Ayu, also played no role as he was conspicuously absent while his duty of handing over flags to candidates was performed by the PDP Deputy Chairman, South, Taofik Arapaja.
Governor Wike made it clear that yesterday’s campaign flag-off concerned only the state’s governorship candidate, Siminialayi Fubara, and state candidates for National Assembly and House of Assembly elections.
He said: “Here in Rivers State, I will not support anybody who says that no other person from another ethnic group can be President.
“Nigeria belongs to all of us. Whether you are Hausa, Fulani, Yoruba or Igbo, from anywhere, you are entitled to be President of Nigeria.
“So, when you go on national television and tell anybody, ‘don’t vote for the Yoruba, don’t vote for Igbo’, you didn’t even mention where I come from.
“This means nobody identifies me, which means I come from nowhere. But God knows I come from somewhere.
“God is the one who says where you should come from. It has nothing to do with party. It has to do with my identity.
“By the grace of God, I come from somewhere and we must show I come from somewhere. I believe in party but I believe in equity, fairness, and justice.
“I tell them don’t insult me and my people. You go to town hall and you tell them lies.
“I said if you believe in restructuring of Nigeria, if you believe in devolution of power, if you believe Buhari made a mistake of appointing service chiefs from one area, then I say what you should do is to correct it from the party.
“What the G5 is saying is equity, fairness, and justice. The constitution of the party says we must share elective and political offices but you say you will take everything. I will not agree”.
Source: The Nation