Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has again declared that nobody can convince him to change his stance that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should yield its national chairman position to Southern Nigeria.
The governor said it is unfortunate that his effort for the amicable resolution of the crisis rocking the PDP has been frustrated by rent-seekers in the party.
The governor stated this when he hosted Cross River State PDP governorship, senatorial, House of Representatives, House of Assembly candidates and PDP local government party chairmen, at his private residence in Rumueprikom on Wednesday night.
The governor, during the meeting which was attended by the party’s South-South national vice chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, explained that the seemingly intractable crisis in the party had lingered because some vested interests, whom he described as “hyenas and rent seekers,” have remained obstinate and averse to justice, fairness and equity in the party.
“We have finished presidential primaries, we have a presidential candidate. Is Wike saying to remove the presidential candidate? Is Wike saying to remove the vice presidential candidate? So, what are you begging me for? All I am saying, and I will continue to say is that you have taken president, give us (national) chairman.
“Nobody wants to speak the truth. If I am saying remove the presidential candidate, if I am saying remove the vice presidential candidate, then you will say why is he doing this.”
Governor Wike maintained that he cannot be convinced to support the current status quo, where the PDP presidential candidate, national chairman and the Director General of the presidential campaign council are all from the north.
According to him, refusal to cede the national chairman position to the South will be a recipe for crisis.
“He (national chairman) said, if the presidential candidate comes from the north, he will resign, which means he has had this in mind. Now, the thing has come to reality, now resign, no. And people are saying go and talk to Wike.
“I’ve accepted the presidential candidate, I have accepted the vice presidential candidate, what’s the problem again? You, fulfill your part. Let the South have something, that is all I’m preaching. You cannot have presidential candidate, national chairman, director general of the campaign.”
The governor said it is hypocritical for some people in the PDP to criticize the Muslim/Muslim ticket while supporting that a particular region of the country should retain the presidency for another eight years.
He insisted that for the sake of holistic peace, PDP should adhere to the tenets of its constitution, which explicitly recommends that when a presidential candidate emerges from the north, the national chairman should be from the South.
The governor said the clamor for the chairman of the PDP to be zoned to the South will persist until justice, fairness and equity prevail in the PDP.
“This is the period the power game is being played. If you don’t have it now, forget it. If anybody tells you, to let (Iyorchia) Ayu resign after the election is conducted, then you are a foolish person. This is the time decision is being made. This is the time the presidential candidate, national chairman and the leader of the campaign will sit, when the election is won in February before the president is sworn in, decisions would have been made.”
The governor disclosed that he has commenced full-blown politicking ahead of the 2023 general elections, adding that those who want to undermine him and his allies will be doing so at their own peril.
He thanked Cross River PDP delegates for the support given to him during the presidential primary. According to him, he will remain eternally grateful to them and all the other delegates that voted for him.
“If there is nothing I achieved, I can go home and sleep that I won Cross River State. Not only did I win, but I also won very well. I feel so happy and that tells you of people who have the character of steadfastness. People who will never be pushed around for whatever it is. People who believe in the principles of life, people who believe in fairness, justice and equity.”
Governor Wike said the visit will spur him to continue to support the party in Cross River ahead of the 2023 general elections. He used the occasion to announce the donation of 25 buses to the party.
“This visit will spur me the more to give you support. I am not coming to Cross River to vote, but you are my friends. I have a right to support you.”
Speaking earlier, Cross River PDP governorship candidate, senator Sandy Onor, who led the delegation, said governor Wike remains a trailblazer for justice, fairness, and equity.
He stressed that no living person in the contemporary history of the PDP has made more sacrifices for the party than governor Wike.
Onor commended Governor Wike for his steadfast support to the party in Cross River, adding that the intent of the visit was to express their profound gratitude for his unparalleled benevolence.
Similarly, the senator representing Cross River north, senator Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, noted that without governor Wike’s support, PDP would have been extinct in the State.
On his part, the Cross River State PDP chairman, Venatius Ikem, thanked Governor Wike for his unrelenting support of the party.
In another development, the governor has reviewed the appointment of Special Assistants on Political Units from 28,000 to 50,000. Recall that the governor had earlier appointed 14,000 political advisers for various political units.
A statement by his media aide, Kelvin Ebiri, the appointments take immediate effect.