…says PDP BoT’s chair resignation, distraction, charade
The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has vowed to sustain the fight for the return of a healthy party structure that will allow an even representation of the interest of the North and South in the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic party.
The governor said the current leadership structure, with the North holding the presidential ticket as well as the national chairman positions, was against the constitution of the PDP and a gross injustice to the South.
Wike made the observation at the inauguration of the Ahoada Campus and staff quarters of the Rivers State University, which was performed by the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, on Thursday.
The current hierarchy of the PDP, Wike said, did not give room for the interest of the South, particularly when decisions were to be taken.
Governor Wike said the resignation of the Board of Trustees Chairman was a distraction because the PDP’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, had told him that the national chairman of the party, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu must relinquish his position.
The governor said, “Ayu said if the presidential candidate comes from the North, he will resign after the convention of our party, and that the chairman of our party will come from the South.
“When the North-Central leaders met in the house of the Governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed, he said so there. When he met the caucus of the Senate, he told them that.
“Now, when we finished our convention on Sunday, the candidate of the party came to see me in my house in Abuja on Monday around 10:30 am. The candidate told me I want us to work together, and then he said: ‘look, Ayu must go.’
“I said, why? He (Atiku) said because when a candidate comes from the North, the Chairman will come from the South.”
Governor Wike challenged the presidential candidate of the PDP to deny the comment and be ready to hear many other things that had transpired between them relating to the current crisis.
“And I’m saying, implement what you told me. What offence have I committed? It is nothing to do with Wike.
“It has to do with integrity. This is what he told me. I challenge the presidential candidate to deny this. If he denies it, I will go further to say so many things to Nigerians because enough is enough. We can’t continue this way,” Wike stated.
He described the resignation of the BoT Chairman as a charade and vowed to continue the fight for the right thing to be done in the PDP.
Wike said, “One ex-General went to see the BoT Chairman and the candidate too went to see him to resign that we’ll give you advisory position.
“The BoT position is already advisory. What advisory position are you going to give him? That is to insult us. And all of us are here. Our people are there not knowing what is happening. You think it’s Wike.
“It is you. It is your children. How can we be here, the chairman and presidential candidate will meet, they will take a decision, nobody represents us? Just wait, pray, let them win, then you will see.”
The governor accused some vested interest in the PDP of being arrogant because they were being backed by someone in the Presidency.
He, however, warned those individuals to also bear in the mind that an All Progressives Congress presidential aspirant, the person they are relying on, backed, failed to clinch his party’s ticket.
“Why are they being so arrogant? I can tell you they are arrogant because they believe somebody in the presidency is backing them.
“But, what they don’t understand is the same person in the Presidency backed somebody as the APC presidential aspirant and the person failed.
“I will tell Nigerians at the appropriate time who the person is in the Presidency that is backing them,” he stated.
The governor said it was erroneous to think that he was bent on destroying the party when he was actually advocating for justice and equity.
“Some of you don’t know what’s happening in the country. You’re being deceived, they’ll tell you this Wike is causing problem. Wike is not causing problem.
“Wike is bringing peace to this country. Wike is advocating for justice, Wike is advocating for equity, Wike advocating for development.
“We have finished the presidential primary. It is over. So, when people said you want to destroy the party, because you didn’t win primary, I think they’re sick. They have some mental problems.”
The governor also took a swipe at the former Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Aliyu Babangida, who was accusing him of destroying the party.
“Nigerians may forget, but such an empty barrel; one man they call Aliyu Babangida, he came out on national television to say somebody is destroying the party because he didn’t win the presidential primary. That’s an insult.
“This is the same man who came out on television and said that they, governors from the North, agreed to fail President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015 because they felt it was the turn for the North. The same man said they agreed to make sure the PDP lost the election because they felt it was their own turn to produce the President.
“That’s a lie. He said that I’m trying to destroy the party because I didn’t win the primary. For Christ’s sake, in a contest, there must be a winner, there must be a winner. I have no regrets.
“We contested the election very well and we are not ashamed. If Aliyu knew he was important and strong, he would have picked form, let us deal with him,” he added.
Performing the inauguration, Governor Makinde of Oyo State noted the untiring efforts of Governor Wike to deliver quality projects round the calendar.
Such leadership, Makinde noted, had changed the fortune of the state and urged the people to continue to support him.
The Commissioner of Education, Prof. Chinedu Mmon, who described Wike as an icon of education, said the decentralisation of the RSU will boost socio-economic activities in the communities where the new campuses are located.
On his part, the Rivers State Commissioner for Special Projects, Deinma Iyalla, said the staff quarters would have a total of 12 flats; six units of three bedroom and six units of two bedrooms of two blocks of one storey building.
The Vice-Chancellor of Rivers State University, Prof. Nlerum Okogbule, said the university management and students would remain eternally grateful to Wike.