Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, the Rivers State Governor has disclosed that he has no political axe to grind with the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.
Mr Wike stated on Tuesday when his political associates and Rivers elders led by the chairman, Rivers Elders Council, Ferdinand Alabraba visited his private residence in Rumueprikom to felicitate with him on his 55th birthday.
The governor explained that the seeming lingering crisis in the major opposition party has to do with demand from the southern stakeholders that the national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, who hails from the north as the presidential candidate is from the north, should relinquish his position.
“I have no problem with presidential candidate.” All I am saying is what is the interest of Rivers people? What is the interest of the South -South, and the South?”
He maintained that the demand that the north should relinquish the position of the national chairman of the PDP to the south remains a panacea to the seeming intractable crisis rocking the party.
“I don’t regret I ran for presidency. In the name of God, I am happy to make Rivers State proud. I am happy as far as I am concerned. If they had allow it to be what it is supposed to be, I would have won the election. But it’s okay. It has happened.
“People said because I lost election, it doesn’t matter. I didn’t lose election. This is my first time of trying to run for the president of Nigeria and we made impact. If it is easy let them go ahead. Are they not the ones begging,” the governor stated, according to a statement by his media aide, Kelvin Ebiri.
On Sunday, the Director General of Atiku’s Campaign, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State visited one of Wike’s ally and a G5 member, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State in a move to resolve the crisis.
Later the same day, Atiku, on Channels Television’s The People’s Townhall, said has met Wike five times to resolve the issue but there is no end in sight. Ortom and Wike subsequently shunned Atiku who was in Benue on Monday for campaigns.
Wike’s 2023 presidential ambition was terminated when he lost the PDP’s primary to Atiku in May. Atiku, a former Vice President, later stung Wike when he passed over his closest rival at the primary and chose Okowa as his running mate.
Last month, Wike promised logistics support for the campaigns of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi; and his New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) counterpart, Rabiu Kwankwaso. Wike has also of late hobnobbed with All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwarts like Adams Oshiomhole and Governors Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), and Ben Ayade (Cross River).
While Wike and his allies have not been seen to campaign for Atiku, it is not clear whether they will support Obi, Kwankwaso or Bola Tinubu of the APC in the contest for Aso Rock’s top job.
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