Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State in Nigeria says he is ready to lay down his life for his party, the Peoples Democratic Party if it will ensure victory for the party in the 2019 general elections.
Moses Akwashi reports from Abuja
Governor Wike’s comments have not come as a surprise for many as the Governor is known for standing by his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, and saying he will lay down his life to ensure victory in the 2019 general elections is just to further prove his commitment to the PDP.
Governor Wike says one of the reasons the then President, Goodluck Jonathan, lost the presidential election was that he was surrounded by insincere people, especially ministers.
He says, his State fought ‘tooth and nail’ to ensure victory for the PDP in 2015 and 2019 would not be any different.
“The whole thing boils down to sincerity and commitment and sincerity. We said if things would not happen, all of us would go down with it. That was the driving spirit for us and that is what we are going to repeat in 2019.
“If the Federal Government is going to kill all of us, so be it. Because we know what they have planned and their strategies and so when it is time, we will face the APC squarely in this state. Just watch.”
Wike says Ex-President Jonathan is a gentleman who condoned too many things, for instance, “when Jonathan went to campaign in the North, he was stoned in a number of states but did nothing”.
The governor said if he were the President, things would have been different.
He added, “God gave every leader his strength and way of doing things. You see, I will not accept that. Let the heavens fall. If Nigeria was going to end on that day, let it end. I will not take what he took. That is why I respect the man a lot. I will not take that.
“If Nigeria will come down that day, let it come down. I mean, what is it? He was President and you were throwing stones at him? No single respect for that office? And you tell me to accept it? No, I will clamp down on you.”
Wike said the fact that those who stoned Jonathan were neither arrested nor prosecuted, showed that some northern elements, including the ones in the PDP, sabotaged Jonathan’s campaign.
He wondered why a northern state which was ruled by a PDP governor would allow such a thing to happen.
The governor also said he supported what a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe, did at the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission when he attempted to stop the Chairman of the commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, from announcing the results of the 2015 presidential election.
Wike said Orubebe’s actions were justified since the elections were rigged.
When asked if he supported what Orubebe, he said, “I did. Of course, why not? You saw clear rigging. I don’t like a system where you see something is going wrong and you keep quiet.”
The governor, who is heading the PDP’s reconciliation committee, said his committee would do everything to attract as many political heavyweights into the party.
He said the party could even go as far as wooing a former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; and a former Kano State governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso.
Wike said, “What is the crime in wooing people? Who told you that we would not woo people like Tinubu and Kwankwaso? You see, whether they will come or not is immaterial. Those that the APC wooed, did they not join the APC?
“Who told you that we would not go and woo prominent APC governors? That does not mean that they will come. All the APC leaders at the National Assembly, were they not PDP people? What is all this trouble about wooing and not wooing?”
The governor said he did not regret helping a former Borno State governor, Ali Modu Sheriff, to emerge as the PDP chairman despite the fact that it nearly led to the total collapse of the party.
He said at the time, he did not know that Sheriff was “an agent of darkness.”
Wike added, “Why should I regret? I am not a coward. I am not one of those that takes decisions and goes back to say I am not part of that decision.”