Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has described as unfortunate the unguarded public comments credited to respectable party members against him after the conduct of the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential primaries on May 29 and 30, 2022.
The governor maintained that the right thing such persons should have done, particularly the former Vice President and the PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, or the party’s National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, would have been to reach out to him, adding that they never did.
Wike made these remarks on Friday while speaking with journalists at the international wing of the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, in Ikwerre Local Government Area, shortly after his arrival from Spain.
This was contained in a statement by the Special Assistant on Media to the governor, Kelvin Ebiri, and made available to newsmen in Port Harcourt.
Wike explained how Atiku used the occasion of the unveiling of the PDP vice-presidential candidate, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, and his appearance on a national television to lie against him.
The statement read, “But there comes a time that people will understand and know the true facts. So, obviously, whether I will speak is not in doubt, (it is) to let Nigerians know the actual truth.
“Having known the truth, whatever they decide to do with it is left for Nigerians. Because you can imagine, when the presidential candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, unveiled the vice presidential candidate, no right thinking lover of this party would say that the speech he made on that day was fair.
“Forget about the favour seekers, forget about the scavengers. But I never reacted to it. That is because this party belongs to all of us. Thereafter, he (Atiku) appeared on Arise Television, see the statement he made. Many lies were told and you said I should not react to some of those issues. That would not be fair.”
Wike explained that after the PDP primary, he returned to Rivers State to focus on fulfilling the remaining promises that he made to Rivers people.
He said, already a number of completed projects had been outlined for inauguration and when that was done, he would respond to all the lies peddled against him.
The governor said, “Assuming today, I’m not alive, obviously what they have said would be accepted as the truth. Look at his (Atiku) attack dogs, Sule Lamido, Babaginda Aliyu, Maina Waziri. Look at the statements they issued. Look at the abuses they rained on me, but I never reacted.
“And Nigerians will ask, you mean these things happened? So, it is important that as a person and for my own future, and for those who rally around me to say, look, this is not fair. So, I will make sure that I will react to them, line by line of the statements made by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar himself and his attack dogs.”
Wike asserted that he contested the presidential primary squarely and emerged in the second position, adding that he would not tolerate being disparaged.
“But every day, his people come up to attack me, to say one thing or the other. That’s quite unfair and so I should let Nigerians know at the appropriate time. That will be after the inauguration of projects that we have lined up.
“We will say look, this is not correct, so that posterity, history will be on our side that we have been able to keep the record straight. So, nobody should be in doubt whether I am going to speak on the issue of the PDP, issues of the primaries and other related matters.
“Nigerians will know what happen, Nigerians will know those who love this country, Nigerians will know what went behind. And that is to assure you that I am going to speak on that,” he stated.
Wike clarified that former Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, met with him in Spain, but said he was not sent by Alhaji Atiku, so nobody should think in such direction.
Wike wondered why Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who visited him at his place to solicit his support does not know the way to the house he once visited.
Reacting, the Media Adviser to Atiku, Mr Paul Ibe, said though some people might want to escalate the crisis, the former Vice President and PDP were focused on bringing the disagreement to a closure.
Ibe, who spoke in a telephone interview with Saturday PUNCH, said, “His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar had his interview and Governor Wike has had his response, we are now focused on bringing to a closure the crisis that has arisen from the nomination process.
“That is our focus, and that is the focus of well meaning leaders, stakeholders, members of the party and even Nigerians who are desirous of a leadership that will change their fortunes. That is our preoccupation.
“We will disappoint those who want to escalate this crisis. Our focus remains to bring to a closure all of these. The process to bring to closure the crisis that came about from the nomination process is ongoing and it will be concluded sooner than later.
“The process will definitely bring the crisis to an end. What has happened is normal in every contest, not only political contest, but every contest where people would be aggrieved arising from the outcome of such a contest. What is important is the ability to be able to look at the bigger picture, and everybody is focused on that.”