Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may have been retired from active politics by the victory of the rival All Progressives Congress (APC) on February 25, 2023. This could be because he may not be willing to hang on till 2027 to contest again, and may not get the PDP ticket.
Now, the G-5 led by Gov Nyesom Wike of Rivers State claims credit for Atiku’s possible retirement. The G-5 says for Atiku not to win the presidential election was a direct consequence of ignoring the warnings of the G-5 of the PDP.
Governor Wike stated that it is too early in the day for people to begin to forget that the eventual fate that befell PDP was avoidable if the national leadership of the party had heeded the several appeals and demands on them to adopt the principal of equity, fairness and justice as they approached the presidential election.
Speaking on Monday at Okomoko Community Field while inaugurating the Chokocho-Igbodo Road in Etche LGA, Wike said it is now settled that the presidency has returned to the south because the north is completing its 8 years at the presidency. He said the constitution talked about rotating offices, though many accuse him of not backing SE presidency which actually was the due slot.
“Give us back the chairmanship; you said no, that you must have it all because you have won,” he said.
Governor Wike stated that while others were demonstrating against the outcome of the presidential elections, that he is in Rivers inaugurating projects and satisfying the development needs of the people.
The governor explained that there was no time he ever criticised either the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, or the APC’s Bola Tinubu during the campaigns.
Wike said he rather campaigned, unapologetically, to true lovers of Nigeria to vote for a southern presidential candidate in the spirit of equity, fairness and justice.
“That is what we have argued for, that the north has had it for eight years, therefore the south should have it for eight years. So, I am not here to persecute anybody.
“As far as I am concerned, anybody from the south is where I stand. That is what we agreed as integrity group that we must make sure that the south emerges as the next president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Speaking further, Wike insisted that he is one of the apostles who stood firm that power must rotate and it was based on the conviction of equity, fairness and justice.
He told Etche people that he has no problem with anybody who had either voted for the Labour Party or the APC because the outcome of the presidential election is that Nigeria has a southerner elected as the next president.
Taking a swipe at the governorship candidate of APC in Rivers State, Gov Wike said Tonye Cole lacks the character to steer the affairs of the State.
“Look at the APC candidate (Tonye Cole), he posted on social media, congratulating Bola Tinubu, but within one hour, he pulled it out. Is that a man? Is that character? I don’t understand. This is a man who all of them, both their leader, even some of them who claimed they’re in PDP, all of them in this State voted against a southern presidency.”
Wike went on to say: “They voted Atiku Abubakar. The same people now turned around to say, support me (Tonye Cole), it’s only Wike that did not support Obi.
“Look at people who don’t have character. Are they the ones you want as governor of Rivers State? I have character, go to anywhere, I have character. There are characters you cannot trust.”
Commenting on the Chokocho-Igbodo Road, Wike said it is one of the several promises that he made to Etche people that has been fulfilled.
While awarding the contract for the construction of the 3km section of the road to connect Etche to Imo State, Wike urged the people to reciprocate the development they have benefitted by voting for Siminialayi Fubara, PDP gubernatorial candidate of the State for continuity.
Wike urged the people of the State to ignore manipulated audio and video being circulated on social media by some depraved minds to mislead unsuspecting general public.