Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike yesterday said his group will neither leave the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) nor drop its demand that the national chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, should resign.
The governor said his camp would remain in the party to fight for its preservation and enthronement of unity, inclusivity, equity and peace.
The governor also vowed to use his media chat today to expose some characters in the opposition party priding themselves as national leaders.
He said after the chat, it would be left for Nigerians to decide if such people were still worthy of the ovation being accorded to them.
Wike wondered why the PDP, which could not unite the party, was promising to unify Nigeria.
Also yesterday, former National Deputy Chairman Chief Bode George said presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar’s response to the Ayu-must-go call was disheartening.
However, PDP governors and Board of Trustees (BoT) members are said to be meeting over the crisis, it was learnt.
The governor spoke during a meeting with stakeholders across the 319 wards of the state at the Banquet Hall of the Government House in Port Harcourt.
He described himself as a man of character, unlike persons, who could not keep their words and walked out of the party at the Eagle Square in Abuja in 2014.
In 2014, Atiku was among party leaders that abandoned the PDP for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Wike said: “One thing I have always told people is if anybody is thinking, doing anything to think that we will leave PDP, foul. We will do the fight in the party. We are not like them, when in 2014 they walked out from Eagle Square. They’ve forgot. They walked out and joined APC. Is it not correct?
“Did they remain to fight inside the party? But we remained. They ran away. Now, there is a fight in the party, we will not run. We will fight it in this party. Those who run away from fight are weak people. We will not. So everybody should know this is the state where we are. So that nobody tells you all kind of stories.”
The governor insisted that the constitution of the party clearly stated that elective and party offices must be zoned and that it should be respected.
Wike wondered why the former PDP BoT chairman would be pressurised to resign while the PDP national chairman, Ayu, was excusing himself from doing the right thing.
He said: “You have taken presidential candidate, you have taken party chairman, you have also taken the D.G (director general) of the campaign. We are talking about party politics. Decisions are made by the presidential candidate , chairman of the party and the D.G of the campaign.
“They are telling you they told the chairman of the BOT to resign. So you know there is a problem. You said he should go and resign. You can put pressure on him to resign when his tenure hasn’t come to an end. But you cannot put pressure on the chairman to resign. You think at our level you will deceive us. You’ll tell us stories.”
Wike recalled how in 2015 the Federal Government used the military to invade Rivers, but the people resisted.
The governor recalled he made sure the senatorial results for Rivers East was announced, which he said delivered Senator George Thompson Sekibo and Senator Betty Apiafi for Rivers West.
Wike regretted that despite the risk taken to deliver them, the same people were now in Abuja plotting against him.
The Rivers State governor also clarified that he never promised anybody governorship ticket of the PDP, despite the pressure some leaders mounted on him and attempts made to divide the State House of Assembly.
Wike said though he didn’t clinch the PDP presidential ticket, he actually gave a good account of himself at the primary.
The governor said that by next week, Rivers State PDP campaign team would be unveiled and the campaign pattern adopted would be based on each local government’s peculiarity.
Wike emphasised that all PDP candidates in the State would be returned elected by Rivers people, who, he said, were satisfied with the performance of his administration.
He said: “We will take all. We are taking all because Rivers people are happy with what we have done in this state. we have not only provided infrastructure, we have also defended the interest of Rivers State.”
He said that it took courage and firmness for him to protect the interest and assets of Rivers State without comprome.
Wike explaining that apart from securing a refund of money illegally deducted by the federal government over the Police Trust Fund, his administration recovered oil wells wrongly ceded to Imo State and was collecting the accruing revenue from the oil wells in disputed area between Rivers and Bayelsa States.
The governor stated that the federal government would not be able to use the army and the police in the 2023 election, because Nigerians would vote for political parties on the basis of their performance.
Wike cautioned party members, who wanted to be moles and work against the PDP because they were not given tickets.