No Political Axe To Grind With Atiku, Wike Exposes Opara, Omehia, Others
In view of the intractable crisis rocking the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, with barely two months to the general elections, Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike has restated that he has no political axe to grind with the presidential candidate of the party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
The above position not withstanding, Governor Wike maintained that the demand that the north should relinquish the position of the national chairman of the PDP to the south remains a panacea to the seeming intractable crisis rocking the party.
He made this assertion when his political associates and Rivers elders led by the chairman, Rivers Elders Council, Chief Ferdinand Alabraba visited his private residence in Rumueprikom to felicitate with him on his birthday on Tuesday.
The governor recalled that precisely a year ago, Rivers Elders urged him to contest for the office of the president of Nigeria. According to him, he heeded the advice and almost clinched the PDP presidential ticket but not for the manipulation of the process.
“I don’t regret I ran for presidency. In the name of God, I am happy to make Rivers State proud. I am happy as far I am concerned. If they had allowed it to be what it is supposed to be, I would have won the election. But it’s okay. It has happened.
“People said because I lost election, it doesn’t matter. I didn’t lose election. This is my first time of trying to run for the president of Nigeria and we made impact. If it is easy, let them go ahead. Are they not the ones begging.”
The Rivers State governor reiterated that he does not have any personal problem with the PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. He explained that the seeming lingering crisis in the PDP has to do with demand from the southern stakeholders that the national chairman who hails from the north as the presidential candidate, should relinquish his position.
“I have no problem with presidential candidate. All I am saying is what is the interest of Rivers people? What is the interest of the South -South, and the South?”
The governor explained that the reason why some of his Ikwerre brothers like , Sir Celestine Omehia and former Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Austin Opara, are begrudging him is because of his insistence that it will be morally offensive for an Ikwerre man to succeed him or even emerge as PDP candidate for Rivers East senatorial district.
“I called Austin (Opara) , he sat here and I said look my brother leave it, it will not work. I don’t want to cause crisis in our system. Amaechi finished eight years as governor, I’m going to finish eight years as governor too. It will be difficult to sell another Ikwerre person as governor for another eight years. Omehia said he wants to go to the Senate, I said leave it. Ikwerre has gone, Ogu has gone, leave Etche to go.
“You people said I should go (to Senate), I said I won’t. Allwell ( Onyesoh) could not have stopped me. Yes, today we are majority, you don’t know what tomorrow will be. I never did anything to undermine anybody. We must understand that.”
Governor Wike further described as sheer hypocrisy the allegation that he foisted the Rivers State PDP governorship candidate, Sir Siminalaye Fubara on the party. He said the emergence of Fubara was a collective decision reached after those who had indicated interest to succeed him failed to reach a consensus to produce one candidate.
“When O.C.J Okocha comes back we will publish the agreement signed by all.”
He urged the PDP leaders to remain steadfast and focused as the sterling performance and transformational leadership provided by his administration since 2015 will enable the party to win the 2023 election with ease.
“We will win. I am not running election, but I’m running an election. My name is not in the ballot, but I’m running an election. You’ll hear what is going to happen. Everybody don’t panic. It is something God has given to us in our(hand) palm.