Those wishing to decode Governor Nyesom Wike’s next move may not wait longer. He seems to unveil it in Port Harcourt Friday, September 23, 2022, at a media parley.
When asked by a team of interviewers from television anchor persons, if campaigning against his party in the presidential election in February 2023 would not make voters injure his own National Assembly candidates, Wike said it would not be so.
When pressed, he said he should not be made to disclose his election strategies and how to deliver his candidates. He did not deny the existence of plans to campaign against the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Vice President, Abubakar Atiku.
Wike however, said he was working for reconciliation and peace in the PDP and should only be tasked on what next if peace failed to return to the party. The PDP state chairman, Desmond Akawor, had since said they would work for Bola Ahmed Tinubu if the PDP ignored Wike’s demands. This was interpreted to mean that decisions had been taken.
Speaking in Port Harcourt at the media parley, Wike said he has put the party primaries behind him and that he now focuses on how to deliver his candidates in the state.
“I am fighting for justice because it is important. Party primaries have come and gone. We have accepted the choice of the delegates. My focus now is to deliver my candidates in my state (Governor, National Assembly members, Rivers State House of Assembly members).
“What is the issue now is party chairman. The PDP constitution must be followed but the leaders do not want the people to know the truth. The founding fathers of the party envisaged national balance. They did not make a mistake in zoning party offices and federal character
“Remember that in 2013/14, Goodluck Jonathan won the party primaries, but Atiku and some persons walked away to another party. Jonathan did everything within his power to woo them back. He even traced Atiku to London and appealed to him to come back but Atiku shunned him. They rebuffed him.
“The Niger State former governor has even come out to disclose how they (PDP top-notchers) decided to work against Jonathan, their own party candidate,” he said.
On the call for Ayu’s resignation, Wike said: “It is the tradition of the PDP to zone positions and give party chairman to one zone and presidential candidate to another. Southern governors met in Asaba and resolved that presidency must return to the south. They met again in Lagos and Enugu on this. It is not just Wike talking.”
Some of the same governors changed to support that presidential aspirants can come from anywhere. They now support chairman to come from the north.
The crisis was sowed when they said zone only party offices, not elective positions. I said imagine, how you can zone only party offices. I warned them. That is the cause of the crisis.
The Ike Ekweremadu committee zoned presidency in 2019 to the north. That was why no serious person from the south contested the primaries. We pumped Rivers money to support the north.
The shock number two is that they now said no zoning of presidency. They said presidency should not be zoned, that it should be left open to get the best candidate.
Iyorchia Ayu never allowed my phone to rest when he wanted to become party chairman. Now, he is going to the media everyday to talk about Wike.
How PDP bigwigs plotted against me
During the presidential primaries of the PDP, I campaigned seriously. When they saw I was making waves, they began series of meetings to stop me. The party chairman who ought to be impartial became a campaigner for one aspirant. He took pains to call each aspirant to step down for Atiku. Meetings were going on to just to stop me.
I warned Ayu: If you don’t want court case, do the right thing. That was why the convention nearly scattered.
The Aminu Tambuwal action: That was when the convention was to scatter. The convention chairman did what was not done before; after every aspirant had spoken, he invited Tambuwal back on stage to make additional statement where he not only announced his withdrawal but told his followers to vote for Atiku. I would have scattered the convention right there but because I wanted the primaries to go on, I restrained myself.
I did not aspire to go to the senate. Look, we (south) can’t trust these people (north). Atiku told me, lets work together. He used his mouth to say, look, presidential candidate and chairman of the party cannot come from one zone (region). So, why is he doing a different thing?
Running choice: Ask any of the committee members that submitted likely persons whether I approached any of them. Ayu went to Atiku at 12 midnight to ask him to drop me from being his running mate. We hear some persons claimed that if Ayu resigned, they would leave the party, but what value do these persons bring to electoral victory of the PDP? Those who meant well for Atiku pleaded with him to pick me if he wanted to win this election.
Ayu had come openly then to say if the presidential candidate emerged from the north, he would resign. Nobody forced him to say that. So, why is he not doing it? Ayu is corrupt. He collected N1Bn from an aspirant to fix the primaries. He did it in Lagos. Let him deny it, I know who handed the money to him and the denominations.
London: Atiku agreed with us in London that Ayu should go. He asked our group to give him one week to get Ayu to resign, just to work out the modalities. We never heard from him again. Instead he went ahead in public to say the constitution of the party would not back it. If he respected us, he would have reached back to us to explain his difficulties. I challenge him to deny that he promised us to get Ayu out in one week.
It is a lie that I am fighting because Tambuwal betrayed me. I have moved on. He is not my son to do my bidding. He did what he wanted.
If Ayu resigns, the constitution of the PDP says his replacement should still come from his zone. Yes but there is doctrine of necessity and political expediency to solve any serious problem.
After all, the same constitution said positions should be zoned, why did not ignore it. PDP NEC can take a decision and get it ratified at the next party convention.
PDP is too arrogant and they have not even won the election yet. They are showing that the party cannot be trusted.
We are still talking peace. Its only when peace fails that we can decide what next. PDP boxed itself into this corner, and only expediency can save the situation.
See what the APC did; the governors said, let power return to the south, but the PDP failed to do same.
UNITY: For the unity of the country, let zoning stay. We have not reached a stage where zoning is no more necessary and the president can come from anywhere. The APC has zoned to the south but the PDP did not. We lost it. So, let us at least move chairman slot to the south so our people will have sense of belonging, and you are saying no way. We too must stand by our position.
I am saying, do not underrate the APC. I know the APC well and I know what they did in 2019 to snatch power from us. So, I know what they can do and I can handle them. We must win the peoples heart.
Read also: Wike gives recipe for solving PDP presidential campaign logjam
The biggest problem of Nigeria is anger of marginalization by some sections, it’s not just economy, insecurity. We must act to make all sections have sense of belonging in one country.
I am a satisfied with what I did in the state. I am not relying on belonging to associations to feel safe. My handwork speaks for me.
Atiku hoping to win without Rivers State is funny. Those who say Buhari won without Rivers must know that he won Lagos and Kano. Atiku should not dream to rule Nigeria with Lagos, Kano and Rivers states. Those prodding Atiku in this direction do not even win their areas. Rivers State delivered heavily to the PDP all the way, even with APC having a DG of campaigns from Rivers State, their party did not get anything here from 1015 to 2019.
PDP must prove to Nigerians that we are trustworthy, else, you are making Nigerians to be afraid of you. Yes, Nigerians are not happy with the APC but the PDP should not take that for granted and refuse to woo them and show they can be trusted.
The presidency is waiting for the PDP to take it, so let us make the necessary sacrifice. Do not allow the opportunity to slip off. They should even thank me and my group for opening their eyes.
I am still in PDP, so it’s wrong to ask me which presidential candidate I will vote for.
Suspend me? Will it not be more wahala for the PDP? Even this one we have is wahala and they want to add more. Ok, let them suspend me today, today.
Secret: Ayu wants to be Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Saraki has his eyes on his own too. Some have already been given Senate presidency slot. So, we all here to just watch them.
If Nigerians hear what is going on in the party that wants to take over power, this country will shake.