Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State on Thursday hit the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar for his criticism of the “lopsided appointments” of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Wike, who flayed the former Vice President for waiting for seven years before his latest realisation, said Nigerians can’t be fooled.
The Rivers governor spoke in Port Harcourt, the state capital when he hosted the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi at the venue of the Nkpolu-Oroworokwo Flyover inauguration.
Atiku had on Wednesday said he would form a government of national unity, saying 17 heads of security agencies are northerners. He promised to unify Nigeria by ensuring equity and fairness as well as reflect the federal character system in appointments to government offices.
However, Wike scolded the silence of Adamawa-born Atiku for over seven years, maintaining that Nigerians can’t be fooled.
“Some people now are criticising Buhari for appointing all the service chiefs from the north. Why did they not challenge Buhari? The election has come. Who is fooling whom? All these past seven years, you have not challenged Buhari but the election has come. Nobody can fool anybody,” the Rivers governor stated.
Wike, who contested the PDP presidential primary in May but lost to Atiku, advised the party’s flag bearer to start his government of “national unity” within the PDP by ensuring that Iyorchia Ayu steps down as PDP national chairman.
Wike, a former minister, and four other PDP governors have been having a running battle with Atiku for months. Known as the G5, the governors demand the resignation of Ayu, saying northerners cannot occupy the seat and that of the party’s presidential candidate.
“Some people said they will form a government of national unity. It is not to talk but start now to implement it. If you cannot implement the small one, is it the big one (you will implement?)
“I pity poor Nigerians. When I heard people go to townhall meetings and said all kinds of things: they said they will implement restructuring, they will make sure that every zone will have a member in the security council, that it is not good for one zone to produce all the security chiefs but it is good for one zone to occupy all party positions. You see how Nigerians are,” the governor stated.
Wike further said he won’t leave the party despite the crisis but chase out the “armed robbers” within the party.