Stop sending people to beg me, Wike tells PDP
...Says party must resolve its crisis to win election ...Accused Ayu of another N100m double claim ...Says allowing Atiku to win first before south gets chairman is dangerous
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has asked his party leadership to stop sending people to beg him. Wike is embroiled in a disagreement with the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) since the conclusion of the party’s presidential primaries which he lost narrowly.
Wike and four other governors are demanding that the chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu, must resign to pave way for a southerner to take over the seat to balance the presidential candidate from the north.
Wike spoke again in Port Harcourt on Friday October 14, 2022, at a media parley made up of four television stations.
He denied that his godfather, Peter Odili, had begged him to forget the matter, saying someone of Odili’s caliber cannot ask for such a thing.
He rather urged the national leadership of the party to do the right thing, if the party must win the presidential election in 2023.
The right thing, Governor Wike insisted, is the resignation of Ayu as PDP national chairman, in order for a southerner to occupy the seat within the principle of equity, fairness and justice.
He emphasised that any leader of a group who causes crisis within the group that he leads, truly lacks the requisite skills to navigate affairs of such group.
“This is the time to show leadership skill on the part of those who are leaders of the party. Atiku Abubakar is the presidential candidate. He is the one who feels the pain.”
Gov Wike made reference to the party’s constitution that spells it out in Section 7 (3) (c) that that all political and elective positions must be zoned.
He wondered why it is now so difficult for Ayu to respect the constitution or even keep to his promise and quit the office if a northern is elected as PDP standard bearer.
“We had not held the presidential primary before the national chairman of the party said if the presidential candidate emerged from his area, he would quit.”
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Wike also accused Ayu of collecting N100m first from a certain governor to renovate the party’s democratic institution, and later went to PDP National Working Committee (NWC) to collect exact amount for the same purpose. Governor Wike dared Ayu to deny it.
“In fact, let me also tell you, Ayu collected N100 million naira from a governor that he was going to renovate our democratic institution and then he went back to the PDP NWC and took the same N100m for doing the same work.”
He further added, “What kind of system is that? I am telling you all these are facts. Let him (Ayu) say no first and I will tell you (those he collected money from).”
The Rivers State governor pointed to the importance of the mission of rescuing Nigeria expected of the PDP by Nigerians. But the mission, he said required a leader with proven integrity to lead the party.
“For God’s sake, knowing that you are in a party that wants to take over the reign of governance in the country, we know Nigerians know the problems confronting the country.
“If a leader does not have integrity, forget it. We need a man who will tell his people this; a man who will be firm, a man who will be courageous to do those things that even people find it difficult to do.
“You are presenting a man who is the head of the party, the chairman of the party, who has no integrity to lead the campaign to take over the reins of governance.”
Gov Wike explained that the chairmanship position of the party should go to the south before the elections. According, if Atiku Abubakar wins in February presidential election, the hawks around him won’t wait until May to take major decisions.
“Who is there to decide for the South? Why will you tell me until when you finish election that’s when a southerner will emerge as chairman?”
Gov Wike described as untrue the report in the media that some former PDP governors, including Odili were sent to him to resolve the crisis in the party.
Flooding: way out
Speaking further, Wike decried the perennial flooding experienced in parts of the country as a result of lack of initiative on the part of the federal government to dredge the River Benue and River Niger respectively.
GovWike asserted that one way of solving the ravaging yearly flooding situation is to pay attention to the sources of water flow and end the suffering of Nigerians who become impacted every year.
“I asked what is this problem that we can’t dredge River Benue and River Niger? Each time I fly over Benue, the sight makes me cry. We won’t have had so many problems to this extent if we dredged them.
“But the politics, I do not know. Who is interested for River Benue, River Niger not to be dredged, and that has caused so much hardship for our people.
“How can government from time refused to dredge the rivers and I heard, sometime, that they awarded the Calabar River. What happened, where is the money?”
Gov Wike imagined why the federal government will award an all important contract like the dredging of Calabar River and will not demand its execution, even when communities continue to suffer from such negligence.
He also informed that the taskforce on flood set up in the State is directly supervised by him to ensure that the impacted victims directly benefits from the relief materials that they would eventually require.
The governor dismissed insinuation that Sir Celestine Omehia was derecognised as ex-State Governor of Rivers State by the State lawmakers because he is supporting Atiku.
According to him, the lawmakers took their decision based on Supreme Court judgment that sacked him.
Gov Wike dismissed claim by the management of Africa Independent Television (AIT) that the company acquired the land from the State government.
According to him, when the State Assembly started deliberation of the land, AIT until date failed to provide any letter of allocation to claim ownership of the land that was supposed to house its regional office in Port Harcourt.
Desired a Ring Road but too late
Governor Wike also mentioned that he desired to construct a ring road that is estimated to cost N70B. The road, he said is planned to start from Okrika Town axis through Eleme to the Port Harcourt International Airport and terminate at Choba town.
He stated that since the tenure of his administration will end in May 2023, he will recommend to the incoming administration to execute the project because of its importance.
The Rivers State governor said the appointment of 50,000 Special Assistants by him has provided jobs opportunity for the affected persons. He said he would increase them to 100,000.