Rivers State governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said that the national Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Iyorchia Ayu, cannot lead him or the state into any campaign because he is corrupt.
Governor Wike made the assertion at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Omagwa, on Saturday, November 19, at the flag-off of campaign by the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party for next year’s election.
Governor Wike said: “I have to say this and I will continue to say it. If anybody feels hurt, let him go to court and challenge me. Nobody will lead me to a campaign when he’s corrupt. I’ve challenged Ayu, you are corrupt and you cannot lead me into any campaign. I will not go into any campaign. Rivers State will not go into any campaign. Ayu cannot lead us to a campaign. Ayu is corrupt”.
Governor Wike however asked the Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, to forgive him if he felt he had been insulted.
Governor Wike said: “I am sorry to say this. I’m sorry to say to the Benue State governor, if I’ve insulted you, forgive me. Rivers people are hurt and we are hurt. Ayu, you cannot lead us to any campaign”.
The governor said that he believed in party and believed also in equity, fairness and justice insisting that anyone who faults President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision in the appointment of Service Chiefs should do so from within the Peoples Democratic Party by correcting what’s wrong.
“If you believe in restructuring of Nigeria, if you believe in devolution of power, if you believe that Buhari made mistake of appointing service chiefs from one area, then what you should do, correct it now from the party”.
He said that the G5 governors now known as Integrity Group believed in equity, fairness and justice.
Governor Wike said: “What the G5 is saying is equity, fairness and justice. The constitution of the party says we must share elective and political offices and then you now say you will take everything. I will not agree”.
He thanked the Integrity Group governors who attended the flag-off including Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Governor Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and Governor Seyi Makinde (Oyo), with former governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, also in attendance.
He maintained that no governorship candidate in Integrity Group states will lose governorship election in the upcoming poll.
He said he has shown evidence of performance in Rivers State and that the governorship candidate of the party, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, will be voted for based on the performance saying that it will be “Operation Show Your Card”.
Governor Wike said it was from money released by federal government to Niger Delta states that he had built Nigerian Law School campus, Dr. Peter Odili Cancer Centre, 12 flyovers and other major projects in the state.
He urged people of the state to support the party’s governorship and deputy governorship candidates, and all other candidates on the party’s platform.
Speaking earlier, the governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, said that the Rivers State governor had shown exemplary leadership and had been accorded respect by the Integrity Group governors.
Governor Ortom said: “The governor of Rivers State who is our leader is a great patriot, a pan-Nigerian, a man who believes in fairness, equity and justice, a man who is leading this team. I am the Chairman of this team and he has shown exemplary leadership and all of us amongst the Integrity Group have accorded him the respect because he’s a man who fears God, a man who wants to ensure integrity, fairness and justice and a man who believes in equity and all of us have chosen to work with him”.
He said with what he saw at the venue, he should congratulate the incoming governor of the state.
He said the Rivers State governor was the right person for the presidential race and would have united Nigerians and ensured equity, fairness and justice.
The Benue State governor also said that the party was not together saying that it had not been able to use its conflict resolution mechanism to settle the crisis.
On his part, the governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, urged the people of the state to support the state chapter of the party and continue to enjoy dividends of democracy.
Also speaking, the governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, said that he came to give support to the governorship candidate of the party in Rivers State and urged everyone to key into the project of the governorship candidate saying everyone recognizes the achievements by Governor Wike.
Governor Ikpeazu said: “Unless you have Sim you cannot receive network in Rivers State, so I want to urge every Rivers man to key into the Sim project because it is very good for somebody to say I will do like Nyesom Wike. Nigeria, Africa and indeed the world have recognized the hardwork of Nyesom Wike”.
A former governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, speaking at the event had described Governor Wike as a man of action and had appealed to the presidential candidate of the party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to reconcile with the Integrity Group.
The governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, who congratulated the PDP’s governorship candidate and all other candidates said that the PDP is the only party in Rivers State and has won election in the state since 1999 saying everyone should support the party’s governorship candidate.
The PDP’s governorship candidate, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, speaking at the event said everyone has decided to consolidate on the New Rivers Vision.
Sir Fubara said that he’s coming for continuity in which he will continue in the achievements recorded by the state governor and thanked the people of the state for supporting him.
The governorship candidate said: “It’s a day for continuity, a day that we have all agreed to say where our present governor will stop, Fubara will continue. In the side of education wherever he stops, Fubara will continue. In the side of infrastructure which is his special area, where he stops, Fubara will continue, technology he will continue, healthcare he will continue”.
The Chairman of the state chapter of the PDP, Amb. Desmond Akawor, said history was being made at the flag-off event and described Governor Wike as courageous and standing for equity and justice.
On his part, the Director-General of the State PDP Campaign Council, Bro Felix Obuah, expressed assurance that the governorship candidate will be elected in next year’s general election and also thanked governors who came for the event.
Party flags were handed at the event to candidates by the PDP’s deputy national Chairman, South, Amb. Taofeek Arapaja.