Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has berated the Peoples Democratic Party National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu for failing to deliver his state, Benue for the PDP.
Wike and Ayu have been at loggerheads following the former’s demand that the latter relinquish his position. In the build-up to the February 25 presidential election, Wike’s G-5 failed to back the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
Besides Wike, other members of the aggrieved PDP governors include Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Okezie Ikpeazu, and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu). Their argument is that both the party’s Chairman and flagbearer cannot come from the same northern region of the country.
After Ayu took over the leadership of PDP in October 2021, the party was hopeful that the former Senate President would lead the main opposition party to victory in the 2023 general polls. But he failed to deliver as the party’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar only captured 12 states.
Of the 12 states where Atiku raked in 6,984,520 votes, Benue was however not captured for the PDP as the majority of the people voted for Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). Tinubu who raked in 8,794,726 votes came out tops in 12 of Nigeria’s 36 states and secured significant numbers in several other states to emerge as President-Elect.
Speaking during a media chat with select journalists in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, Wike said Ayu could not even win his polling unit for the PDP.
“What can the National Chairman tell me now when he could not deliver his state? He could not deliver his polling unit?” he queried.
“A small circle of people, you can’t control them. You lost and you say you are the National Chairman. If you have lost it in our states, it is the states that will make the ‘national’ thick. Without the state, you can’t be strong.”
During the interview, Wike denied working against the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi in the 25 February presidential poll.
61-year-Obi, who, in less than a year, galvanised young voters in a manner some have described as unprecedented finished the race with 6,101,533.
Following Obi’s loss to Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Nigerian youths have accused Wike of betraying the former Anambra State Governor.
But the governor stated that it is unfortunate that Obi claimed he stood against him during last month’s presidential election, describing the LP candidate as being ungrateful.
Wike also recalled how he picked him to be the running mate to Atiku in the 2019 general elections, even against the wish of some notable PDP chieftains.
He added, “I take exception to Peter Obi’s comments that I came out against him. People are not being sincere, people are not appreciative,” he stated.
“In 2019, ask Peter Obi, I was one of the teams that chose Obi to be the Vice Presidential candidate of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. When we met at Abubakar’s house, he said these are the names, I will choose Obi.
“Obi was invited while we were at Saraki’s house in the night. I was fought by people like Ekweremadu, Umahi, and Pius Anyim. Every blame was on me, why will I be the one that will say Peter Obi should go?”