BY HENRY UMORU & DAPO AKINREFON
Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, in this brief encounter with Vanguard, speaks on the mini-convention of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and the crisis rocking Rivers State. Excerpts:
What is your take on the convention?
Well, it has been conducted well in spite of the prediction by some people that it will not hold. The special mini convention has taken place despite all odds and prediction by people who do not want the progress of the PDP.
Will it be right to say you are in charge of the delegates at the convention?
I am not in charge but rather, I am part of the people that had to attend the convention. The former governor, Dr Peter Odili, the former deputy Speaker, a former minister and some lawmakers were all in attendance.
Politicians in Rivers State who say they boycotted were not delegates because you have to be a delegate before you can boycott.
They were not delegates, so what are they boycotting? It is only those that were suspended that were not at the convention. You do not expect to have one hundred per cent but at least we have 70 per cent of the delegates in attendance. So, I will not say I am in charge.
You have taken over the party structure in Rivers state…
(Cuts in) I am not taking over anything but rather, the people, who are major contributors to the party, are now back to the party.
Before now, so many people were ostracized from the party and when this new chairman came, one of the things he was able to do, was to bring everybody back and participate in the party they built. It shows that all of us are working together in the party. So there is nothing like anybody taking over the party structure. It is just that the mandate of the people has been given back, that is why you see those who were in former ACN, are now back. So we are all back.
How soon will the crises in your state be resolved?
You say crisis, but in politics, the beauty of democracy is internal wrangling.
So, I do not see anything peculiar. In any dispensation, when you are moving forward, you see all these things happening but sooner or later, it dies down. That is the position of what is going on in Rivers state. You heard what is going on in Anambra and Adamawa states, they are all politics. At the end of the day, everybody will come together.