RIVERS State Governor Nyesom Wike has advised candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar to be mindful of the people around him if he wants to win the 2023 presidential election.
Speaking in Port Harcourt during the inauguration of the Rivers State House of Assembly Quarters by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Friday, Wike said those around Atiku might cost him the election.
Wike, who has been feuding with Atiku since he was overlooked as the running mate, advised the PDP presidential candidate to stop going after him and instead focus on winning the presidential poll.
Wike said, “This should be the focus of all true lovers of PDP who want electoral victory. You’re supposed to be talking about how you will win election. All these rent seekers around him (Atiku) are not doing him any favour. Rather they are trying to make him not to win election. But if that is what they wish, I wish them good luck.
“You see that I am not talking. I am doing my work, so leave me to do my work. Those concocting ideas every day, social media cannot make you win election. Election is about the people and by the people. Those in Abuja with you (Atiku), tell them to go home and campaign for you to win election. Leave Wike alone, enough is enough.”
Wike also distanced himself from the suit filed to challenge the presidential ticket of the opposition party, saying mischief makers were linking it to him.
“People have called me throughout this morning and said all kinds of things that I went to court against Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. I want to say categorically if I have a reason of going to court, I will go to court, but I didn’t go to court.
“Yesterday too, they said I removed all PDP flags at Rivers State Government House. But I just have to say these things for Nigerians to know that I have kept quiet and been busy delivering dividends of democracy for my party to win election in Rivers State.
“But I want to tell the candidate, it is the candidate’s group that are doing all these things. Let the world hear, they are the ones plotting all these things, thinking that they will spoil my name, they can not.
“I didn’t go to court, I have no reason to go to court. But those of you who are plotting and saying that I went to court, saying Wike went to court, I say shame on you. Shame will be on all of you.
“I have told the candidate, you will win or lose this election because of people around you. Anybody who knows me know too well that if I was going to court, I would have gone to court within two weeks after the primary because it is a pre-election matter and after two weeks, you can’t go to court.
“The legal adviser of the party called me and said he knows that there is mischief going on. But that he knows me very well, if I’m going to court, it is not those kinds of lawyers that I would have used; I don’t even know the lawyers.”
Wike, however, promised to begin real-time politics in a short while after inaugurating and flagging off a series of projects.
Wike also warned Atiku to be wary of those who pledge support for him, accusing such persons of being the same people that thwarted Atiku’s chance of winning the 2019 Presidential election.
“When I see people talking about PDP today, I say to myself what is going on in this world. In the South-South, they all betrayed us. President Muhammadu Buhari wouldn’t have won the 2019 election because he wouldn’t have had the spread.
“But all the states in the South-South made Buhari to have 25 per cent. It was only Rivers State that did not give Buhari 25 per cent, I am challenging anybody on it. Today, I see people talk about PDP. When we were supposed to have won election in PDP under Alhaji Atiku. Rivers State gave the highest votes, Rivers gave the highest support in terms of logistics too. Let anybody come and contradict me.
“I told Atiku the other day, I said to him, all these governors that you think they are working with you, what happened in 2019? Nobody wants to say the truth. I have said it, everybody, go to your state and deliver. It is ‘Operation Deliver Your State’. It is not to just talk. It is not to stay in Abuja. I don’t stay in Abuja, I don’t sleep there.
“I am here (Rivers) everyday with my people. I will tell Rivers people to demand for report card. See my report card, they are the projects we are delivering. I will tell them see why you will vote for our governorship candidate. See why you will vote for all the other (PDP) candidates.”
In his speech, Gbajabiamila noted that the facility would serve as a conducive accommodation for members of the Rivers State House of Assembly.
He also described the project as a worthy achievement that would impact the performance of the legislature in the state.
Nurudeen Akewushola is an investigative reporter and fact-checker with The ICIR. He believes courageous in-depth investigative reporting is the key to social justice, accountability and good governance in the society. You can shoot him a scoop via email@example.com and @NurudeenAkewus1 on Twitter.