Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike has taken a swipe at those accusing him and Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State of frustrating the micro-zoning of the presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to South-East.
Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri quoted the governor as stating this at Itu Bridge Head, venue of the flag-off of the Akpabu- Odido Road in Emohua Local Government Area of the state on Monday.
Wike said he had always believed and supported concerted effort towards ensuring that the presidency was zoned to the south.
“I was one of those who led the campaign that the party’s chairmanship should go to the North because I believed the presidency should go to the South.
“I attended meetings of southern governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other parties from Delta to Lagos to Enugu states, where we agreed that presidency should come to the south,” Wike said.
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He insisted that while southern cross-party consultations were going on, there were people in the PDP who were bent on frustrating the eventual zoning of the party’s presidential ticket to the South.
Such people, he maintained, could not now turn around to cast the blame on him and Ortom to hide their scheme with the aim of deceiving Nigerians.
“I woke up this morning and read where they said, ‘How Wike and Ortom frustrated PDP’s micro-zoning of presidential ticket to South East’. That was what the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku said.
“I keep on saying, they’ll be contradicting themselves, telling lies up and down, thinking that Nigerians don’t know. How can they say that I influenced Ortom, told him to allow and throw the ticket open?
Wike said further, “Nigerians know those who are opposed to zoning of the party’s chairmanship first.
“And when the zoning committee was set up, this time, Atiku had gone to buy form to frustrate the recommendation of the zoning committee.
“So that when they have bought form, they could say, oh, there is no need of zoning, will you tell people to withdraw?”
Wike said it was rather noteworthy that their gimmick was now haunting them because they were unfair to Nigerians.
“Yes, you don’t like Ortom, no problems. I know my own, you don’t like me, no problems. But I, my state gave you the highest support in 2019 both with logistics and by votes.
“You can’t deceive every Nigerian again. What I have stood for is equity, fairness and justice.
“So, saying that I and Ortom frustrated PDP micro-zoning to South East is neither here nor there. They know that they don’t want presidency to come to the South.”
The Rivers State governor urged the presidential candidate of the PDP to leave him out of the attendant challenges he is facing in the party.
Wike, however, explained that a bad product is always difficult to sell, otherwise, former president Olusegun Obasanjo would have recommended Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to Nigerians having worked together with him.
Wike stated that the former president instead chose to endorse another presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi.
The Rivers governor insisted that if former president Obasanjo had refused to recommend Atiku, then something must be fundamentally wrong.
He opined that Atiku should be more concerned about that loss of confidence from his former boss, and his coming election.
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