Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has denied claims that he and other Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors flew to Europe to deliberate the 2023 presidential and vice presidential candidates for the party.
Wike condemned the rumour mongers of intentionally spreading lie in an attempt to damage the prospects of the PDP in 2023 general elections.
The governor, yesterday, in Port Harcourt, in a statement by his media aide, Kelvin Ebiri, said PDP governors had been bombarded with calls following a text message being peddled by a chieftain of the party, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, that some governors had undertaken a week-long trip to Europe to determine those who would be presidential and vice presidential candidates of the party in 2023.
“I have always said to people in PDP, nobody should cause a division among the governors. We are trying as much as we can to build the party back and see that in 2023 PDP takes over governance. But, I have some suspicion that people like Raymond Dokpesi are not really sincere to the party and I think I’m convinced that Dokpesi appears to be working for APC.”
He continued: “I don’t understand where Raymond Dokpesi of this information from, this rumour that governors travelled to Europe to decide who will be the presidential candidate and vice presidential candidate of PDP. I wonder why governors will travel to Europe to take such a decision.”
According to the governor, while he and his colleagues didn’t have anything against Dokpesi campaigning for the 2019 PDP presidential candidate and former Vice President of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, he should refrain from inducing turmoil in the party.
“I’ve told Raymond Dokpesi that there is nothing wrong with you preaching for the candidature of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar the Waziri of Adamawa, a very experienced man, an intelligent man, a strategist. But don’t destroy other people because of this. Because when you destroy them, it will be difficult for PDP to win election in 2023.”
The governor appealed to Atiku, who he characterized as a well-known political strategist to rein in Dokpesi from circulating harmful rumours worthy of polarising stakeholders in the party.
Wike remarked that in 2019, PDP governors, without the prompting of Dokpesi rallied round Atiku and would do so again if he picks the party’s presidential ticket.
Also, Wike ousted hint that PDP governors, mainly, Oyo State Governor, Seye Makinde, want to seize the function of National Working Committee in a bid to assign the party’s candidate in Osun State.
Furthermore, Wike said it would be politically unfair for people outside the South West geopolitical zone to determine what happens in Osun, without the contribution or better still, input of the Oyo State governor.
He clarified that Makinde, who is the only PDP governor in the South West geopolitical zone, has the right to be consulted as it pertains to the upcoming governorship elections in Osun and Ekiti states.