Former Jigawa state governor and chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Sule Lamido has named River state governor, Nyesom Wike “the natural heir” to the Presidential seat after Atiku Abubakar, the party’s candidate in the 2023 election.
This is even as Lamido described the governor as an asset to the PDP and a leader who has etched his name in glory given his performance as chief executive of the oil-rich state.
Lamido who stated this in an exclusive chat with our correspondent in his Abuja residence however blamed unnamed persons close to the governor for fuelling issues Wike has been responding to recently, stressing that the party must rescue the Rivers state governor and preserve him for the future.
He said: “Wike is a huge treasure for the PDP and one of the best materials. If we win (in 2023), he is the natural heir to the throne because he has the quality, the aura, the charm, the charisma and the age. I have been saying this: PDP is a family. There was a primary election and there were expectations but some of them were not met. So, it is natural for one to react. I can understand that. Governor Wike is somebody who is very forceful, who has done so well as a governor of PDP in his own state and who has been very supportive of the PDP. But again, he was made by the PDP. He is somebody we must make sure we preserve and we must rescue him from his own anger.”
According to the former Foreign Affairs Minister, whatever support Wike gives to PDP today is the party’s right, adding that “it is the party that made him” and not the other way round.
He continued: “Whatever support he is giving to PDP is PDP’s right because a son does not say ‘I am doing this for my father.’ The party that made him is like a father.”
Recall that a former governor of Niger state, Babangida Aliyu recently said that Wike lost the Vice Presidential nomination to Delta state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa because of the former’s penchant for talking too much. But for Lamido, Wike is right to be angry, insisting however that he must give peace a chance in the overall interest of the party.
“He is right to be angry for having not achieved his own personal interest or ambition but again that is what leadership entails. He is a party man and the party is not his enemy. The party is his home, is own group, his own support and therefore whatever might have been the failure of him to achieve his interest, should not be taken too seriously at a personal level.
“Wike is now like as a boiling pot. There is so much anger in him because people around him will not allow him to see clearly. People around him who he thinks are his own friends are his biggest enemies. It is a fact and he will see it later on and that is why they are putting more logs under the fire. By now they should be withdrawing all the logs under the fire, to allow the pot to cool down.
Lamido further counselled Governor Wike to be wary of those around him, noting that none of them has the capacity to make him realize his ambition.
“There is no one single person in Nigeria today who can say I can run on the platform of PDP and win election on his own, not even Atiku. It is the people of the PDP who will deliver such a person. Ask those around Wike, can they deliver their states to him? There are governors now using Wike but he is one of our best materials for the future.
“To me, we need to make sure that we assist him to calm down and stop him from spilling over with anger because the pot is literally messing up its body by this unnecessary heat.
At the right time, he will see the wisdom in what I am saying because we are all former governors. We know what we were in office and we know what we are out of office,” he added.