The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has explained why he and some leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) did not want Uche Secondus to continue in office as the PDP national chairman.
Mr Secondus, who hails from Rivers, was forced out of office in August 2021, a few weeks to the expiration of his tenure, after falling out with Mr Wike who had supported him to become the PDP chairman.
Mr Wike said, during a media chat in Port Harcourt on Friday, that Mr Secondus was asked to leave office in order to pave the way for the south to produce a PDP presidential candidate.
“In the final meeting in Enugu, we now say, Secondus, as the chairman of the party, you are already running out your tenure, and therefore you can’t go back (as the PDP chairman) because it is the position of the south that the president have to come from the south.
“And the president cannot come to the south if you (Secondus) are the chairman of the party,” Mr Wike said.
“So it was not as if it was a personal thing,” he added.
Mr Wike’s claim, however, contradicts the remarks he made in August that Mr Secondus was removed because he performed below the expectation of the PDP members.
The governor in the previous remark threatened to “crush” anyone who associated with Mr Secondus who is a political ally of Atiku Abubakar, the PDP presidential candidate for the 2023 election.
If anybody fights our system, we will fight the person back,” TheCable quoted Governor Wike as saying in his August remarks.
“Let me tell you what you don’t understand in politics. The moment you claim to be working with us and tomorrow you shift to our enemy, we will take every might we have, we will even leave our enemy and finish you first.
“So all of you who are going back to Abuja to hold meetings with our enemies in the state, I’m going to finish you to the last. You can’t come here, gain from the state, be a contractor, get money then you move to Abuja to hold meetings against us and say I’ll leave you free, I’ll not leave you free.
“We removed a national party chairman who was not doing well. All of them were here, we all agreed, now they are going to Abuja to hold meetings with the man we removed, thinking that you will use that to fight us, we will crush them,” the governor reportedly said.
Mr Secondus, in his response to Mr Wike, told the governor that power was transient, and that he cannot crush anybody.