Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has revealed how he almost scuttled the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential primary but called on his supporters to remain calm.
The governor said this on Monday at a reception in his honour at the Government House in Port Harcourt following his return from the party’s presidential primary in Abuja.
Wike said he was tempted to obstruct the process when an aspirant who had spoken previously was allowed to return to the podium to pronounce his withdrawal, in contravention to the guidelines of the election.
“I have never seen how people can violate procedures and guidelines. Somebody has spoken, it is at that point he was speaking that he would have said I am withdrawing. You don’t call him back,” Wike said. “I just said, ‘Look, this our party must not be destroyed.’”
He, however, called on his supporters to remain calm, describing his loss at the PDP presidential primary as the will of God.
“It is God’s will, let us not bother ourselves so much,” Wike said, accusing governors of the southern region of betrayal.
“Shame to those who will sell out their own,” he said, maintaining that “I have never seen a thing like that”.
He said the PDP Governors ganged up with some vested interest groups to derail the quest of the south to produce the next President on the platform of the party.
He accused them of selling out and frustrating the collective efforts that would have secured the PDP presidential ticket for the South.
He said: “I contested in an election(primary)based on the principle and agreement with all Southern governors and leaders of the South that presidency should go to the South this period.
“We have done our part. We never betrayed anybody because it is not in our blood to betray. But it is a shame to those people, some of the governors from the South, they are the people that were used to sabotage our course.”
Wike said it was disheartening that some Governors from the South chose their inordinate ambitions over the collective interest of the people they claimed to represent.
He said: “Look at a region ganged up, then you, your own region cannot gang up. You became tools to be used against the interest of your people, and you think you have won, you have lost.
“You will continue to be perpetual slaves. Rivers people you don’t need to bother yourselves. PDP needs us. If they say they don’t need us, they should wait.”
The Governor explained that he was propelled into the race to offer service and advance the interest of Nigeria.
He said he was confronted by a few individuals, who wanted somebody they would control and he declined to be such a puppet.
He said: “The winner(of the ticket) also saw it. They underrated us but now they will not underrate us again. We have all it takes to do whatever we want to do. It is a matter of you being firm, it is a matter of you being hopeful. There is nobody that is born greater than us in this country, therefore, we cannot answer second-class citizens. We can’t.
“We just used this one to tell them that enough is enough. We made them not to sleep. We made them not to eat. We made all of them from wherever they said they come from to know that there is somebody who can take them on. This country does not belong to one particular zone. If people are afraid of talking it is their business. I cannot be a second class citizen in my country.”
“Some of them, their in-laws are Governors in the ruling party but they want to interfere in what happens in PDP. Some of them their brothers are Governors in the ruling party and they want to interfere in PDP”
Wike said with the presidential primary over, and given his pledge to work for whoever emerged, Rivers would work to deliver PDP and all its candidates in the 2023 general elections.
Governor Wike said though he did not clinch the PDP Presidential ticket, he believes, just like his supporters, that his performance has raised the political profile of Rivers State and other minority groups in Nigeria.
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