Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has reacted to the crisis bedeviling the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) following Atiku Abubakar’s choice of Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, as his vice-presidential running mate.
Wike, at a press conference on Friday in Port Harcourt, called Atiku a liar.
The Rivers governor who had earlier promised to tell the ‘truth’ about the crisis in the party told journalists that the party’s presidential candidate has been unfair to him.
While accusing Atiku of lying against him in his interview with Arise TV, Wike said Atiku never called him for reconciliation.
NewsNGR had reported that the former Vice President had emerged as the party’s 2023 Presidential candidate. Wike came second during the primaries.
Speaking after his return from Spain, the governor stated that: “It is most unfortunate since after our primary I have decided to be quiet because it’s a party I love so much. I never said anything, I decided to go back home and fulfill the promises I made to the people of Rivers State.
“But there comes a time I need to speak and let Nigerians know the actual truth. Having known the truth, whatever they decide to do with it is left for them.
“When the PDP Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar unveiled his running mate, no right thinking person and a lover of this party will say that the speech he made on that day was fair.
“Forget about his hailers, the scavengers and I never reacted to it. I said, no, this party belongs to all of us.
“Thereafter Atiku appeared on Arise TV, see the statement he made. So many lies were told and then you said I should not react to some of those issues. That will not be fair.
“Assuming today I am not alive, obviously what he has said will be accepted as the truth”.
“Look at his attack dogs, Sule Lamido, Babangida Aliyu, Adamu Waziri, look at the statements they issue, look at the insults they hurl on me. It is important that as a person, and for my own future and for those who rally around me, to say this is not fair, so I have to make sure I react, line by line to everything Atiku Abubakar has said, and his attack dogs – I would do that.
“If a presidential candidate who believes he wants to win election and somebody who contested fiercely with him, every day his people come up to attack me, that’s quite unfair.
“Nobody should be in doubt, whether I’m going to speak, on the issue of PDP, on the issue of the primaries and other related matters, nobody should be in doubt of that, I’m going to certainly speak, Nigerians would know what happened. It’s not for me to go and hire journalists and begin to say all sort of things, certainly, I’m going to speak.
On whether or not Atiku had reached out to him since the nomination of the Vice-Presidential candidate, Wike said” when people tell lies, it’s most unfortunate, I have heard a lot of stories. For example, some senators called me that Atiku Abubakar said he sent Bukola Saraki to me, that is not correct. I was in Spain, Bukola came to me and said ‘my brother, how do we settle this problem?’ I asked ‘were you sent by Atiku Abubakar?’, he said ‘no.’ so Atiku Abubakar has never. I have never seen where serious-minded people will reduce issues like this to this level.
“Atiku Abubakar came to my house to say I should support him, so he doesn’t know my house again? I would not accept that, so Atiku Abubakar cannot say that he has sent anybody to me. Forget about those running around, looking for how they will survive.
“I want to tell members of the public, as far as I’m concerned, I love this party, I’ve been committed and I’ve been able to build this party. I’m not one of those who are running around, scavengers looking for how they will survive.
“Somebody told me that National Chairman said he spoke to me, with all due respect, he never talked to me. Since 29th of May, not one person has come to talk to me. Forget about hiring journalists, like Reuben Abati, sometimes when you read or hear what he says, you begin to wonder, where are we heading to? But like I said, I’ve remained silent, but I can’t continue to remain silent, Nigerians must know what happened. So I would urge everybody to be patient. It doesn’t matter who is involved, I’m not a slave and I would not be a slave, I’m freeborn of this country, I must be able to say things as they are, whether it suits you or not,” he added.