As the primaries for the 2019 presidential election approaches, the entire leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State are warming up to collectively choose the party’s aspirant to support.
Speaking in Government House, Port Harcourt, on Tuesday, Governor Nyesom Ezebunwo Wike of Rivers State made this known, stating that the direction of Rivers delegates would not be determined by one person.
He said: “At the end of the day, the leadership of the party will meet at the state level and decide where we are heading to? Then we will all be together.
No one individual can do it alone. So, Rivers State will move as a team, I will listen to the leadership of the party, then we will move forward.
“Who are we going to support? Where is the national survey? Who is more popular? This is how politics is played. I challenge any of the presidential aspirants from the North who has gone to other governors and they have given them campaign coordinators, I challenge them to mention if I have given them one name,” he posited.
He said that the decision on the way that Rivers State would go would not be determined by sentiments, but on the overriding interest of Rivers State.
The governor said: “Can anybody say I have met him one day to say support so, so, and so presidential aspirant? People have been coming here and I told them I will not, and I will never, nominate anybody to be a liaison to any of the presidential aspirants. Not one person, I challenge them.
“Atiku Abubakar came here, Sule Lamido came here, Makarfi came here, Saraki came here, Tambuwal came here, Ibrahim Shekarau came here, Attahiru Bafarawa came here.
Let one person say I have ever said take Joseph, take John, take John Bull, take Beatrice as your campaign coordinator like others do. I don’t deceive people, I will not deceive people, and I will not deceive my people,” the governor stated.
He said that nobody would blindfold the people of Rivers State into supporting a presidential aspirant with compromised credentials. He explained that some of the presidential aspirants were under the sponsorship of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said: “But one thing you must take home is that I cannot be misled. I cannot be blindfolded. I know what’s going on. I know what the presidency and the APC are doing to plant a presidential aspirant in the PDP.
“I have not even mentioned how a very senior official of a security agency in the country told me which of the candidates to support! You can imagine me as a governor and the head of a security agency would tell me to support one or two persons.
Head of security agency who is in a government controlled by the APC! Come on, you direct me on who to support for president?” he asked.
Governor Wike reiterated that the alleged plot by the APC Federal Government to use the security agencies to rig elections in Rivers State in 2019 would fail.
He continued: “It won’t happen in my state, but I know they will kill a lot of persons. I can tell you they will kill a lot of us. No problem, this is the sacrifice we have to make for democracy to thrive.”
Governor Wike stated that he would have nothing to do with godfather politics, pointing out that when he left office in 2023, the people of Rivers State would collectively choose his successor.
He said: “I’m on record and my friends, my colleagues, they know me and I have told them. I am a student of history, mention who has survived it. That you put your life, you put your blood to bring somebody. So as a student of History, I know it does not work that way.
“I will do what I have come to do, to serve my people and when my time has come to an end, those who want to run, let them run. Let the people of Rivers State decide my successor.
And that is the problem we are having, people want to continue to be Godfathers, and that is the problem we are having without development”.
He recalled that those struggling to play godfather were doing so to protect themselves from criminal prosecution.