Rivers state governor Nyesom Wike has said he did not support the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, overtly at the February 25 election because nobody discussed the Igbo presidency with him.
The publicity secretary of Ohaneze Ndigbo Worldwide, Alex Ogbonnia, stated on Friday, March 10, 2023, in Enugu that Wike made the declaration at a meeting the socio-political group had with him in Port Harcourt on Thursday.
Ogbonnia stated that at the meeting, Ohaneze Ndigbo confronted Wike over his alleged role against Peter Obi during the presidential election. He stated that the Rivers governor expressed surprise that Ohanaeze was on a fact-finding mission and would explain his role in the presidential election.
According to Ogbonnia, the governor explained that the Southern Governors Forum first met at Asaba and agreed that power must shift to the South after President Muhammadu Buhari. He also explained that the governors later met in Enugu in September 2021 to reaffirm their position for power to shift to the South.
He stated that throughout the meetings, “the issue of the presidency to the South-East was never on the table.’’
Wike also explained that throughout his political adventure, he tried as much as possible to maintain the position of the southern governors and expressed disgust that during the PDP presidential primary, several well-known people from the South-East betrayed him and sabotaged the southern interest by voting for Atiku Abubakar, who is from the North.
He added that his unalloyed commitment to the South motivated him “to provide logistics for Peter Obi when he was in Rivers for the presidential campaign.”
Wike noted that he refused to provide even a campaign ground for Atiku, the presidential candidate of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party.
“What is circulating in the social media is the handiwork of Wike adversaries. For instance, the ‘Full Audio of Governor Wike Caught on Tape Arranging Bribe for INEC Officials’ and published by an online medium, has been on YouTube since December 16, 2016,” Wike told Ohaneze.
The Rivers governor explained that “some mischief-makers were using doctored and false audio and visual materials on the internet to dent his image.
“I am a man with the courage of my convictions and have no reasons to tell lies or to owe an apology to anyone. I am always ready to defend my actions any day and at any time, and I did not rig the presidential election against Obi,’’ Ogbonnia quoted Wike to have said.
Recall prior to the February 25 presidential election, Wike and his group known as G5 vowed not to work for the presidential candidate of his party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar. They held that power should rotate to the south and as such the party chairman, Iyorchia Ayu must resign.
Wike obviously eventually worked for the eventual winner of the election, Bola Ahmed Tinubu as APC defeated others in Rivers state.