***Explains His Position on the Crises in APC
***Focused on Rivers State and Not Interested in 2023 Presidency.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike on Saturday, June 28, 2020, said with the present consensus arïrangement in Edo state the victory of the PDP is sure as “everyone is seeing it that there is no way APC can win Edo State.”
He said as an opposition party PDP can’t afford to have divisions and his insistence on on a political consensus was to avoid distractions and litigations that would have affected the party’s chances.
In an online interview on Saturday with Arise Television News Channel, Governor Wike said his position on Edo State was that everyone must be carried along so the PDP would not fall into the same problem the APC had in the state.
“If we had gone to the primaries with divisions we would have had the kind of crises APC is having.” “Today everybody is happy in Edo State.” “He (Obaseki) is a happy man as all the three aspirants stepped down.” He explained that the political solution has put PDP in a good position to win Edo state.
The Governor said consideration had to be given to the fact that people sacrificed and sustained the PDP prior to the entry of Governor Obaseki and their participation and buy-in was neccesary to get everyone committed to the victory of the party
“Carrying people along does not mean giving money. That is the mistake people make. It means listening to them, appealing to them and making them recognise the greater interest of the party”, he said.
On the circumstances that brought Obaseki to the PDP the Governor said he is happy about it the same way the APC was happy when PDP had crises. “I am happy that APC is in crisis. It is not my business to help APC to be united. Remember that we also had our own crisis under Ali Modu Sheriff and APC jubilated about it then. It is my prayer that they should continue to be in crisis. We have taken another state.
“Unfortunately, APC isn’t really a political party. They came together just to take over power. I want my party to be in power and therefore, I cannot be praying for APC not to have crisis. I hope they continue to make mistakes everyday and my party will continue to grow.”
He said even at that, it was unreasonable for anyone to blame him for the APC’s crisis in Rivers State. He explained that the PDP had problems in Edo State but were able to “resolve it by carrying everyone along, assuming we were unable to resolve it, it would have been unreasonable for me to blame APC for our problems.”
In reacting to the threat to burn down Rivers State by a group of supporters of the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, Governor Wike said security agencies under the control of the APC led Federal Government have refused to act even though the threat is in the public domain.
“I watched the video of the Minister’s supporters threatening to burn down institutions in Nigeria. In fact, he is said to be a Cousin of the Minister. Yet Amaechi is claiming to be a non-violent person. Don’t forget it was Amaechi who for the first time in the history of the state, shut down the Courts for nearly two years and now his supporters are threatening to burn down the state. No security agency has arrested or cautioned them.
“Amaechi is claiming that he is not a man of violence but we are not children. We know what’s going on. He’s in charge of the police, army, and the other security agency. His cousin threatening a unit of the Federation and the President did not say anything.”
Recalling the antecedents of the Minister, Governor Wike added that, “President Buhari came for a campaign here and the Minister who says he doesn’t believe in violence sang a war song in Igbo, saying in that election there would be war. What happened? Nobody cautioned him. Security agencies didn’t caution him.”
In his response to the management of security in the state he said “Governors are not Chief Security Officers of their states, Governors are Chief Logistic Officers of their states.” he explained that Governors can only provide logistics for Security Agencies but have no control over their activities. He pointed out the case of the Deputy Commissioner of Police who flouted the Executive Order of the State on COVID-19, and the transfer of the Commisioner of Police, and other Service Chiefs for working with the Governor.
Faulting the claim of the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Ameachi that he hasn’t visited Rivers State since January 2019, Governor Wike said that statement was obviously false but was made to put the state in bad light. He explained that Ameachi was in the State during the General elections, has been in the State severally since then and was in the state just before the out break of Covid-19.
He added that people of the state understood the politics and remained supportive of the state government.
Governor Wike stated that 70% of Covid cases in the state were brought in by oil workers and whoever is being flown into the state by aviation companies have to report to the state for testing before they are allowed to go to work. He explained that this regulation was the source if the dispute Caverton Helicopters
“I told them that they could not just bring in people and requested that they let the State know whoever they are bringing into the State so that our health officials can check them. What is wrong with that? Shell complied, NLNG complied. Are those ones not on essential services?”
On insinuations of him being interested in running for the Presidency in 2023 Governor Wike stated that his tenure is just beginning and his focus is on Governance of Rivers State. “For now I am not going to run for the Presidency, I am concentrating on developing Rivers State.
“I started my tenure one year ago and people are talking about Presidency, once that enters your head you wouldnt t be able to concentrate on your work and provide the dividend of democracy for your people.”
Responding to questions on Atiku running for the Presidency, he explained that it’s the right of the Former Vice President to run for the office if he so desires. He further stated that zoning and other issues concerning PDP’s candidature would be decided by the PDP National Executive Committee at the suitable time.
Governor Wike said the concern of the PDP should be to grow and “get more states and when the time comes members will sit down to determine who should run.”
He said: “What we are seeing today is how APC that has failed Nigerians and that should not continue. How we can come out of this calamity we have found ourselves. We are in a serious crisis. Our concern is how our party will take over and move Nigeria forward. At the appropriate time, we will meet and decide.”
Asked if he would support Amaechi if the APC zones the Presidency to the South and Ameachi is given the ticket the Governor said he is not a member of the APC and wouldn’t be involved in anti party activities. He said if Amaechi is running under the PDP and wins the ticket of the party he would have his support but he wouldn’t be involved in supporting the member of another party.