• Accuses PDP candidate of befriending ‘enemies of Rivers state’
DAILY COURIER – Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has declared that he will not campaign for the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, because the latter did not consult him before picking members of his campaign council from the State.
He explained that Atiku’s photograph and that of PDP national chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, have been missing in the party’s campaign materials in the State because they don’t want him to campaign for the party at the national level.
Wike, who spoke on Monday during the inauguration of the Rivers State PDP Campaign Council in Port Harcourt, said the party’s presidential candidate selected those he described as “enemies of Rivers State” into his campaign council for the 2023 general elections.
The governor said: “Some people have asked me why is it that they don’t see the presidential candidate’s picture and that of the party chairman? I said what are you talking about? The presidential candidate entered my state and picked members of the presidential council without a whole governor of a state having a contribution.
“The presidential candidate entered Rivers State and picked those he wants to pick without the contribution of the governor. So, they said they don’t need me to campaign for them, that they don’t need Rivers people to campaign for them. Will you force yourself?
“I have never seen how people will disrespect a state like Rivers State and go and choose those who are enemies of the state without our contributions.”
Wike stated that PDP members in the State do not know the nominees from the State on Atiku’s campaign list, noting that he and the party in the state will only campaign for the governorship candidate, the senatorial candidates, and others who carry them along.
The governor said: “If they want us to be involved in the campaign, they will come and tell us. If he thinks we are important, they will come and meet us. Nobody can intimidate Rivers State when I am still the governor of the State.”
He stated that the setting up of the State campaign council was to bring out strategies on how to go along with the campaigns and the election proper.
Wike said: “This campaign council is to bring out strategies on how to campaign on how to follow the election. This election is a different election. It will not be as usual.”
The governor said each of the 23 local government areas in the state will have its own strategy to mobilise the people.
He said: “Some of you have been quarreling that my name is not there. The campaign council is just a general policy council and they will now bring people who will be in each of the committees…those of you who are crying that my name is not there, everybody’s names cannot be in the campaign council; it is not possible.
“And two, the campaign council is not for sharing money. I am the chairman of the campaign council. So, think that you will submit your budget to the governor and DG (director general).
“The campaign council will approve every budget which is presided over by me, the DG is for implementation. So, don’t think that the governor is my person. It doesn’t work that way.”