Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, the governor of Rivers state, has dismissed reports that he and other Peoples Democratic Party, PDP governors journeyed to Europe to choose the party’s presidential and vice presidential candidates for 2023.
The governor lambasted those behind the rumour of planning to stir strife in order to sabotage the PDP’s chances in the 2023 general elections.
Governor Wike said PDP governors have been flooded with calls after a text message circulated by a party chieftain, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, claiming that some governors had embarked on a weeklong trip to Europe to ascertain who would be the party’s presidential and vice presidential candidates in 2023.
“I have always said to people in PDP, nobody should cause a division among the governors. We are trying as much as we can to build the party back and see that in 2023 PDP takes over governance. But, I have some suspicion that people like Raymond Dokpesi are not really sincere to the Peoples Democratic Party and I think, I’m convinced that Raymond Dokpesi appears to be working for APC.”
He further continued:
“I don’t understand where Raymond Dokpesi gets this information, this rumour that governors travelled to Europe to decide who will be the presidential candidate and vice presidential candidate of PDP. I wonder why governors will travel to Europe to take such a decision.”
While the governor and his colleagues have nothing against Chief Raymond Dokpesi campaigning for PDP presidential candidate and former Vice President of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the governor believes he should be cautious and refrain from generating chaos inside the party.
“I’ve told Raymond Dokpesi that there is nothing wrong with you preaching for the candidature of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Waziri of Adamawa, a very experienced man, an intelligent man, a strategist. But don’t destroy other people because of this. Because when you destroy them it will be difficult for PDP to win election in 2023.”
The Rivers state governor pleaded with Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, whom he described as a well-known political strategist, to stop Chief Dokpesi from propagating harmful allegations that could polarise party members.
Governor Wike stated that, without Dokpesi’s encouragement, PDP governors rallied for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in 2019 and will do so again if he accepts the party’s presidential nomination.
“We supported Atiku Abubakar when he won (PDP presidential ticket), and even if he wins now, the governors will rally round him, but when you destroy the governors and bring confusion, how will it work.”
The governor urged all supporters of the PDP who want the party to win the general elections in 2023 to stop circulating false and destructive information that will promote division and mistrust.
Governor Wike also denied claims that PDP governors, especially Oyo State Governor Seye Makinde, are attempting to usurp the National Working Committee’s (NWC) duty in order to impose the party’s candidate in Osun State.
Governor Makinde, the sole PDP governor in the South West geopolitical zone, he argued, deserves to be briefed on the upcoming governorship elections in Osun and Ekiti states.
“The party should call the governor (Makinde) and say see what we are doing so that he will be carried along.”
Governor Wike stated that it would be politically incorrect for anyone outside the South West geopolitical zone to decide what happens in Osun without the participation or, better yet, input of the governor of Oyo State.
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