‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja – Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has described as disturbing, the ethnic card allegedly played by Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Wike was reacting to a recent comment where Atiku allegedly said what the Northerners need is someone from the north as the next president of Nigeria.
The former vice president on Saturday, while responding to a question by the spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, during an Interactive Session With Arewa Joint Committee held on Saturday, in Kaduna State, had allegedly said, “What the average Northerner needs is somebody who’s from the north and also understands that part of the country and has been able to build bridges across the country.
“This is what the Northerner needs, it doesn’t need a Yoruba or Igbo candidate, I stand before you as a Pan-Nigerian of northern origin.”
But while responding to the statement, Wike, who spoke with newsmen on Monday morning, at the International Wing of the Port Harcourt International Airport, described Atiku’s alleged statement as the most inconvenient remarks at a time that the unity of Nigeria is paramount.
Wike arrived in Port Harcourt on Monday Morning. On Friday night, travelled to Spain with his counterpart in Benue, Oyo and Abia States for a meeting.
The governor told newsmen that if the statement actually came from Atiku, it confirmed why he and his supporters are hell-bent on the resignation of the National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, in order to allow for inclusivity in the party.
He queried the handlers of the PDP presidential candidate who permitted such a blunder, adding that if Atiku truly made the statement, then the PDP should apologise to Nigerians.
Governor Wike also insisted that the PDP National Chairman, Senator Ayu, collected N1bn from a PDP presidential aspirant in Lagos State, another N100 million from a PDP governor to renovate the party’s democratic institute and later collected the same amount from the PDP National Working Committee for the same purpose.
He challenged Ayu to show proof of the account into which the N100 Million he collected from the PDP Governor was paid and the notes of minutes of the NWC meeting where his notification to members about the money was captured.
The Governor also described as ridiculous the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT) recommendation that Senator Ayu should assure party members and Nigerians that he will resign his position after the 2023 general elections.
Wike said a man who has not kept his initial promise of resigning his office if a northerner emerged as the presidential candidate of the party may not also resign after the 2023 elections.