BusinessDay

Wike gives recipe for solving PDP presidential campaign logjam

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has given what he considers a window to resolving the logjam that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential campaigns have become.

In a major press encounter in Brick House in Port Harcourt Friday morning, the embattled governor said his fight was for unity of Nigeria and justice to the south.

He said PDP should thank his type of persons and his camp for showing the party what to do and win the 2023 presidential election.

Saying party primaries have come and gone, he made it clear he has accepted the choice of the delegates, but that his focus now is to deliver his candidates in his state (Governor, National Assembly members, Rivers State House of Assembly members).

He said what is boiling in the PDP is the issue of 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,” he said.

He again rejected the idea of defection, saying: “We are still talking peace. Its only when peace fails that we can decide what next.”

Wike said the 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.”

On unity of Nigeria, he said 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 a sense of belonging, and you are saying no way. We too must stand by our position.”

Read also: Wike hits Atiku, but gives hope to PDP
He repeated his accusation that in 2014, Goodluck Jonathan won the party primaries, but that Atiku Abubakar 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.’

He reminded Nigerians that the biggest problem of Nigeria was anger of marginalisation by some sections, and that it’s not just economy, insecurity. “We must act to make all sections have a sense of belonging in one country,” he said.

He further said that it was wrong for Atiku to hope to win without Rivers State. “Atiku hoping to win without Rivers State is funny. Those who say Muhammadu Buhari won without Rivers must know that he won Lagos and Kano states. 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.”

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