- To tell own side of PDP crisis Friday
By Egufe Yafugborhi, PORT HARCOURT
GOVERNOR Nyesom Wike of Rivers state says he has no reason to leave the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), no matter the situations threatening the unity of the party ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Wike at a Rivers PDP stakeholders meeting in Port Harcourt Thursday, the first of such since the rancorous presidential primaries and picking of running mate, also said to, on Friday, keep his promise to tell his own side of the story over the contentions since after.
The governor said that he was interested in preserving the sanity of the party and will stay back to fight for the enthronement of unity, inclusivity, equity and peace in the PDP.
Priding themself as men of character who keep their word, Wike declared, “I have always told people, if anybody is thinking we will leave PDP, foul. We will fight at the party. We are not like them when in 2014 they walked out of Eagle Square. They’ve forgotten. They walked out and joined APC. Is it not correct?
“Did they remain to fight inside the party? But we remained, they ran away. Now, there is a fight at the party, we will not run. We will fight it at this party. Those who run away from the fight are weak people. We will not. So everybody should know this is the state where we are. So that nobody tells you all kinds of stories.”
The governor the party constitution clearly stating that elective and party offices must be zoned and should be respected, wondering why the former PDP Board of Trustee (BOT) Chairman would be pressured to resign and while national chairman, Sen Iyorchia Ayu excuses himself from doing what is right.
“You have taken presidential candidate, you have taken party chairman, you have also taken the D.G (director general) of the campaign. We are talking about party politics. Decisions are made by the presidential candidate, chairman of the party and the D.G of the campaign.
“They are telling you they told the chairman of the BOT to resign. So you know there is a problem. You said he should go and resign. You can pressure him to resign when his tenure hasn’t come to an end. But you cannot put pressure on the chairman to resign. You think at our level you will deceive us. You’ll tell us stories.”
Governor Wike recalled how in 2015 the federal government used the military to invade Rivers State, interfered with and even annulled elections, but were resisted, just as he made sure senatorial results for Rivers East were announced in victory for Senator George Sekibo and that of Rivers West, that produced Sen Betty Apiafi.
He regretted that despite the risk taken to deliver them, the same people were now in Abuja, allegedly plotting against him, praying they won’t succeed because God has blessed him.
He denied promising anyone Rivers PDP governorship ticket despite the pressure some leaders mounted on him and attempts to divide the State House of Assembly, adding that though he didn’t clinch the PDP presidential ticket, he actually gave a good account self at the primary.
He hinted at the unveiling of the Rivers State PDP campaign team next week with the campaign pattern adopted based on local government area peculiarity, emphasising that all PDP candidates in the State will be returned elected by Rivers people who are satisfied with the performance of his administration.
“We will take all. We are taking it all because Rivers people are happy with what we have done in this state. we have not only provided infrastructure, we have also defended the interest of Rivers State”, he said.
Besides securing a refund of money illegally deducted by the federal government over the Police Trust Fund, the governor said his administration recovered oil wells wrongly ceded to Imo State and is collecting accruing revenue from disputed oil wells between Rivers and Bayelsa States.
The governor stated that there the federal government won’t be able to use the army and the police in the 2023 election, because Nigerians will vote for political parties on the basis of their performance.
Governor Wike caution party members who want to be moles and work against the PDP because they were not given the ticket that they sought.
The governor said urged party members to be steadfast because God is on their side, and since they have not known defeat, PDP cannot be defeated in 2023 general election in Rivers State.
In his response, State Chairman of the PDP, Ambassador Desmond Akawor said the party in the state has already passed a vote of confidence on governor Wike for the way he has piloted the affairs of the State.
He commended the governor for the consistent delivery of projects, defending the interest of the State, and declared that they will continue to follow the leadership that he provides.