Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike has traced the arrogance of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Candidate, Alh. Atiku Abubakar and the National Chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu, to a deal they struck with somebody at the Presidency.
He said the presidential force was working for Atiku’s victory in 2023 and promised to disclose the identity of the person at the appropriate time.
But Wike, who spoke on Thursday when he led Oyo Governor Seyi Makinde to inaugurate a new Faculty of Humanities built in Ahoada for the Rivers State University by his administration, said Atiku and Ayu might be disappointed in 2023.
He recalled the same presidential force promised someone the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) but failed to actualise it.
The Governor insisted that the deal was the main reason why Atiku and Ayu had failed to honour their promises of restructuring the party ahead of the election.
Wike described the resignation of the party’s Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) as inconsequential to the battle of his camp for justice, equity and fairness.
Insisting that Ayu must go, the Governor recalled all they promises made by Ayu to cede his position to the South if a northerner emerged the party’s Presidential Candidate.
He said Atiku immediately he emerged candidate visited him, solicited his support and promised that Ayu would resign in obedience to the party’s constitution
He said it had never happened in the history of the party that the National Chairman and the party’s Presidential Candidate would come from the same zone.
history of the party that the National Chairman and the party’s Presidential Candidate would come from the same zone.
The Governor said he was fighting for the inclusion of the South in the affairs of the party adding that the battle was not about his personal interests.
He said: ” I told Nigerians before that I would speak at the appropriate time, but now that things are happening like this, let me be revealing them in piecemeal so that you will know the kind of country we are in.
“Ayu said if the presidential candidate comes from that north that he will resign based on the convention of our party. When the north central met in the house of Bala Mohammed, the Governor of Bauchi State, he said so there. When they met at the caucus of the Senate, he told them that.
“Now when we finished our convention on a Saturday to Sunday, the candidate of the party, came to see me in my house in Abuja on Monday around 10 to 10:30am. The candidate told me and say, ‘listen I want us to work together’ and then he said, ‘look Ayu must go’.
“But I say why? He said because when a candidate comes from the north, the chairman will come from the south. And I am saying, implement what you told me. What offence have I committed? It has nothing to do with Wike it has to do with integrity.
“I challenge the presidential candidate to deny this. If he denies it I will go further to say many things to Nigerians because enough is enough. We can’t continue this way”.
On the resignation of the BoT Chairman, Wike described the BoT as an advisory body that had no decision-making capacity.
He said: “They have today told the BoT Chairman to resign. Who is talking about chairman of Boat? What is the role of a BoT. It is an advisory body. We have never zoned BOT. It is not a decision-making body. Those, who run the party as it is today is the presidential candidate and the chairman of a party.
“They will sit down and take decisions. The candidate is from the north, the chairman is from the north, who will represent the south in decision making. It is not about me. They are flying propaganda, will I be chairman of a party?
“All I am saying you can’t take the two major positions of a party. You cannot do that and some psychophants do not understand. They are running after them and begging to be named in the campaign council. So it is not about Wike. Fulfill what you have said. You are now telling me you have a four-term tenure. So when you people win what will happen? And nobody wants to think about it.
“They are asking why Wike is making trouble. Am I the one who made a promise. Chairman you made a promise, honour it. Forget about greed. What has killed Nigeria are leaders, who cannot honour what they have told people. You have told the BoT chairman to resign, so you know. You have agreed with us that this thing cannot be in one place.
“But the position we are talking about is the chairman of the party. It is not about the BoT. When ex-general went to see the BoT chairman and the candidate went to see him and asked him to resign that they would give him an advisory role. What is advisory when the BoT position is advisory. What are you going to give him. That is to insult us.
“You think it is Wike, it is you and your children. How can we be here, the chairman and the presidential candidate will meet, they take a decision, nobody represents us. Just wait, pray they win then you will see. Just watch”.
Speaking on the arrogance of Atiku and Ayorchia, the Governor said: “Why are they being so arrogant? I can tell you, they are arrogant because they believe somebody at the Presidency is backing them.
“But what they don’t understand is that the same person at the Presidency backed somebody during APC presidential primary and the person failed. I will tell Nigerians at the appropriate time who is that person at the Presidency that is backing them and making them arrogant.
“You can’t be arrogant to us. You can’t be arrogant to what I have. You can be to what you have. But this one we have you cannot. So you people should be careful, the way they concoct stories and plant stories. What Wike is saying, keep to the agreement. If now you cannot keep agreement, what will happen then?
“I will continue to fight this fight. This injustice is enough, we cannot continue to swallow this. We are not looking for anything from anybody. God has said we will survive. Why will we be slaves?
“When the election is won, the chairman and the president will sit down and talk about who takes what and what goes where. They have already taken who will be Senate President. Which one have they giving you? They want to take our votes. It is not possible.
“So, forget about those hungry people who will never be satisfied. Those are the people hanging out in Abuja begging to be included in the campaign council. We are talking about the structure of the country. How it should be.
“That is why in APC the presidential candidate is from the South and the chairman is from north. It has never happen in our party where the chairman of the party and the presidential candidate have come from one place.
Why not do the right thing so that you can sleep well and wake up tomorrow”.
On the 17 governorship candidates that visited him recently, Wike said he presented the issues to them and they agreed that he was fighting a just course.
He, however, said he told them to return to the party and insist that the right things should be done
He said: “When the guber candidates came to see me, I say what do you want me to do? I am a member of the party. I will support my people to win election in Rivers State.
“But can you people who want to be governors, to show that you want to be governors, advise me. Do you want me to accept that the candidate and the party chairman should come from the same zone? I asked them.
“They said ‘look seriously you are right’. But I said no I am not right go and tell them. I don’t like people who use Nigerians when they are talking they will say for the interest of Nigerians. Who defines the interest? You that refused to obey the constitution of your party, are you speaking for the interest of Nigerians? Start from home because charity begins at home.
“You cannot disobey the constitution of your party because you claim you are in the majority and you come out and tell Nigerians you are speaking for their interest, you are a liar.
“What can they do to me now. Will they remove me as governor? Remove me if you have the power. Don’t be afraid, this fight we will fight it to the end. Justice must be done. It is not about Wike but the survival of the PDP”.
Wike further lampooned a former Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu for saying that he (Wike) was on a mission to destroy the PDP because he lost the presidential primaries.
Describing Aliyu’s remarks as an insult, the governor recalled how the former Niger governor confessed that they plotted the defeat of Jonathan because they felt it was the turn of the north.
He said: “Some of you don’t know what is happening in the country. You are being deceived. They tell you Wike is causing problems. Wike is not causing problem. Wike is bringing peace to the country. Wike is advocating for justice, equity and fairness.
“We are finished with the presidential primary. It is over. So, when people say you want to destroy the party because you didn’t win primary, I think they are sick. They have some mental problems. We are done with the primary.
“There is one empty barrel called Babangida Aliyu, who will come out on a national TV to say somebody is destroying the party because he didn’t win the presidential primary. That is an insult.
“This is the same man, who came out on television and said that they, governors from the north agreed to fail Jonathan in 2015 because they felt it was the turn of the north. Aliyu Babangida agreed to ensure PDP lose in 2015 because they felt it was their turn to produce the President.
“The same man is saying today that I am trying to destroy the party because I didn’t win primary. For Christ sake, in a contest there must be a winner and there must be a loser. I have no regrets. We contested the elections very well. We are not ashamed. If Aliyu knew he was important and strong he should have picked the forms so we deal with him.
“As a serving Governor, he couldn’t win his Senatorial election. Imagine that I contested an election as a sitting governor and then go and lose the election. You will know that something fundamentally is wrong with me. That means my people don’t like me and that means I have never performed.
“Serving as a governor and losing Senatorial election is a voted of no confidence and he doesn’t understand that. And this is a man PDP is bringing on a national TV to campaign for PDP.
” Ask him when he was a governor what were his legacy projects. How many people from this country came to inaugurate his projects? If I am coming today to campaign for my party or any party, people will ask me what I did in my state as a governor.
“Ask Aliyu Babangida, show me your report card when he was a Governor of Niger state. I have been to Niger and I asked people to show me what he did, but nothing. So that is the man that will come out on a national TV to tell Nigerians whom to vote for”.
While inaugurating the project, Makinde said he would stand with Wike against characters in the PDP, who had refused to do the right things.