From TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has dared the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to suspend him if they can.
He has also described the National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Iyorchia Ayu, as being “very very corrupt”.
The governor alleged that Ayu collected N1 billion from some businessmen in Lagos, ahead of the PDP convention, but the money did not enter the party’s account.
Governor Wike made the statements during a live media chat on Friday, where he noted that the party was not taking advantage of the opportunities presented to them by the inadequacies of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Rivers governor noted that nobody in the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) could suspend him as of now, because they did not have the capacity to do so.
Also, the governor alleged that the PDP national chairman threatened other presidential aspirants to step down for the presidential candidate, so that he would not win the presidential candidacy at the last convention.
While responding to a question about him being weary of party suspension over anti-party activities, the Rivers Governor said: “Who will suspend me? Which party? I am not saying that I am bigger than the party. But, nobody can suspend me from the party.
“I dare them today, the NEC, and say this person is now suspended from the party. In fact, if they want to suspend me, they should do it now. Anything you see, take. They know what I will do. Pikin wey no want make him mama sleep, him go sleep?”
Wike, a former presidential aspirant on the platform of the PDP, during the chat, also revealed his unwavering support for Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the PDP.
According to him: “You are asking which presidential candidate I support for 2023? Which party am I?
“You can’t be seeing me, a leader of PDP today, and be asking me which candidate I am supporting. That question does not arise.”
Although he refused to state categorically, Wike admitted that members of other political parties were courting him at different times.
Governor Wike described those saying that they could do without Rivers State and win the presidential election in 2023, as having no electoral relevance.
He said: “Those saying that they can win without Rivers State have no electoral value in their states. Those in Atiku team have no electoral value. Ignore Lagos, Rivers, Kano; they are very important.”
He explained that there was nobody who would not want to have Rivers State within their ranks, noting that the state is like a beautiful girl, adding “who will see a beautiful girl and not want to talk to her?”
The Rivers governor said, if the ruling party, APC, could zone presidency to the South, why did the opposition party (PDP), finding it difficult to obey the party’s constitution, if it was prepared for victory.
He, however, warned his party to desist from arrogance, stating that it could work against the it in the forthcoming general elections, as Nigerians would lose trust in them.
On the party’s chances of winning the 2023 presidential election, the governor said it would depend on how PDP was able to manage its crisis and that of the APC.
He said: “If my party takes the advantage of what is happening now (in APC), they’ll win. If my party fails to use the opportunity Nigerians have given us, they will pay dearly for it.”