Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has announced that members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state will collectively decide on who to support among the numerous presidential aspirants for the 2019 elections.
Governor Wike gave this indication ahead of the presidential primary of the PDP, while responding to questions in an interview at the Government House in Port Harcourt.
The Governor said no single individual would determine the direction of Rivers PDP delegates but leaders of the party will meet at the state level and decide as a team on who to support.
Governor Wike denied assigning campaign coordinator to any of the presidential aspirants from the north, who he said had gone to other governors and have been given campaign coordinators.
He said several presidential aspirants have been coming to visit him and to request he nominate a liaison in support of their candidature, but he declined.
Wike mentioned former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Alhaji Sule Lamido, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, Senate President Bukola Saraki, Governor AminuTambuwal of Sokoto State, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau and Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa among those who have visited him.
The Governor said nobody would blindfold the people of Rivers State into supporting a presidential aspirant with compromised credentials.
Governor Wike also alleged that some of the PDP Presidential aspirants were being sponsored by the APC and the Presidency, stressing that he cannot be misled.
He also claimed that the head of one of the security agencies in the country had approached him to support one of the presidential aspirants.
Wike also tipped himself to remain in office after the 2019 elections, until 2023, when he said Rivers people would collectively choose his successor.
He said: “At the end of the day, the leadership of the party will meet at the state level and decide where we are heading to. Then we will all be together. No one individual can do it alone. So, Rivers state will move as a team, I will listen to the leadership of the party, then we will move forward.
“Who are we going to support? Where is the national survey? Who is more popular? This is how politics is played. I challenge any of the presidential aspirants from the north who have gone to other governors and they have given them campaign coordinators, I challenge them to mention if I have given them one name.
“Can anybody say I have met him one day to say support so, so, and so Presidential aspirant? People have been coming here and I told them I will not, and I will never, nominate anybody to be a liaison to any of the presidential aspirants. Not one person, I challenge them.
“But one thing you must take home is that I cannot be misled, I cannot be blindfolded; I know what’s going on. I know what the presidency and the APC are doing to plant a presidential aspirant in the PDP.
“I have not even mentioned how a very senior official of a security agency in the country told me which of the candidates to support! You can imagine me as a governor and the head of a security agency would tell me to support one or two persons. Head of security agency who is in a government controlled by the APC! Come on, you direct me on who to support for president?
“It won’t happen in my state, but I know they will kill a lot of persons. I can tell you they will kill a lot of us. No problem, this is the sacrifice we have to make for democracy to thrive.
“I’m on record and my friends, my colleagues, they know me and I have told them. I am a student of history, mention who has survived it. That you put your life, you put your blood to bring somebody. So as a student of History, I know it does not work that way.
“I will do what I have come to do, to serve my people and when my time has come to an end, those who want to run, let them run. Let the people of Rivers State decide, it is you, it is him. .And that is the problem we are having, people want to continue to be Godfathers, how and that is the problem we are having without development.
“When I hear some people make comments, with all due respect, I don’t want to talk about persons, when I hear about one, they call him Tonye Princewill and I laugh. The young man forgot the interview He granted the Premium Times, He forgot the interview, and people forget history. That these things are documented, so I now hear what he’s saying, I say oh my God.
“How much Rivers State assets were sold by the previous Government to his friend and how it was used to fund election of Buhari and the rest. He forgot easily, today He’s saying a different thing and I say what kind of characters do we have?
Details of Governor Wike’s comments were contained in a statement released by his Special Assistant on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu.