Rivers State Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has called on the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, to investigate the electoral value of those who claim to be supporting his ambition, warning that the party is heading towards losing the 2023 general election.
This is as he reminded the national leadership of PDP that the ongoing infighting within the party may work against it in the 2023 general election, saying that no political party can win election fighting itself.
Wike has been aggrieved with the PDP in the aftermath of the party’s presidential primary which he lost to former vice president Atiku Abubakar and was equally overlooked as his running mate.
The Rivers State governor described as “non-consequential” the confession of support for Atiku by some politicians if they are not working to mobilise grassroots voters to secure electoral victory for the PDP in 2023.
He made these comments yesterday at the inauguration of the new Government VIP Lounge at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, near Port Harcourt, built by the Rivers State government.
He said it was the quantum of individual votes from units, local governments and states that would determine victory for the PDP presidential candidate in 2023, and not rumour peddlers.
The governor said it was unfortunate that some politicians, now based in Abuja, derive pleasure insinuating something against him to curry favour from Atiku.
Wike said, “We are busy campaigning with our projects on how our party will win election in the state. Other people are busy in Abuja carrying rumours and gossips. We are busy here (Rivers) from Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. We’ll start Monday again, flagging off projects, commissioning projects that will sell our party.
“Every day, in the newspapers, Wike did this, Wike did that, then they will call the candidate, you see what I said about Wike today. Rent seekers. No jobs. Instead of you to do something that will make your party to win 2023 elections, you’re only busy everyday saying Wike said this. Where you heard from Wike, I do not know. Maybe in your dream.
“You want to support the candidate, you’re not at home, you’re in Abuja. Come home and campaign and work for the party. Stop this Abuja politics of carrying rumours to the candidate.”
The governor, who asserted that he was a practical and practising politician, told party that if it wants to win election, it should not be fighting itself.
“I think a party that wants to win election cannot on their own be causing problem for themselves,” he said.
He pointed to how his administration had continued to flag-off and inaugurate projects that serve as evidence of fulfilled electoral promises, which had sustained the trust that the people have for the PDP in the state.
Wike expressed belief that it is the services and projects that his administration has done that would sell the PDP to the electorate.
“We have said that whatever promise we have made, we are going to fulfil them before we leave office on May 29, 2023.
“And let me say, only one person can be a minister from the state. I would not be a minister. I am not a liability. Rivers State is an asset. If you don’t want to win election, it is your business.
“I am not running for election. He who wears the shoe knows where it pinches. So, allow Rivers State to continue to do what they are doing by using our projects to campaign to our people.”
The governor explained that though the Port Harcourt International Airport is owned by the federal government, his administration decided to build the VIP Lounge in order to offer Rivers’ people the best service.
He gave assurance that the Rivers State government would cater to the maintenance of the building so that it can serve the people for a long time.