Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that he will not support anybody who believes that only they, and not other ethnic groups, can produce the president of Nigeria.
Governor Wike made the declaration at the Rivers State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) 2023 election campaign flag-off rally that held at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Omagwa, Ikwerre Local Government Area of the State on Saturday.
The governor wondered why anybody could go on national television to deride any tribe, insinuating that they are less Nigerians and therefore, do not qualify, on ethnic basis, to ascend the presidency.
‘My dear brothers of the integrity group, you’ve done well. They have tried to break us, they couldn’t break us and they will never break us.
“But here in Rivers State, I will say it and let the heavens hear me. Let the earth hear me today. I will not support anybody who says that no other person from other ethnic groups can be president. I will not do it.
“I mean, Nigeria belongs to all of us whether you’re from Hausa, Fulani whether you’re from Yoruba, whether you’re from Igbo, or you’re from Ikwerre, whether you’re from Urhobo, whether you’re from Itsekiri, you’re from Ijaw, or from anywhere, you are entitled to be president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“So, when you go on national television and tell anybody, don’t vote for the Yorubas, don’t vote for the Igbos, you didn’t even mention where I come from, which means, nobody identifies with me. Which means, I come from nowhere. But God knows that I come from some where.”
Governor Wike explained that his stance has nothing to do with the party because he believes in the PDP.
But, he insisted that it is about the identity of a people who are Nigerians and therefore, should have equal status, no matter their ethic groups.
The governor said when people do not acknowledge that you exist, there is need to tell such persons that you do exist.
According to him, the people of Rivers State do exist and as Nigerians they can also determine issues about the presidency, and become the president of Nigeria too.
“You are saying it, don’t vote for Igbos, don’t vote for the Yorubas. You don’t mention where I come from which means I don’t exist.
“God, are you alive and they say I don’t exist? I exist. God has never made a mistake in life. He is the one who said where we should come from? It has nothing to do with party. It has to do with my identity.”
Governor Wike challenged Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, the national chairman of PDP to sue him if he is not corrupt as accused, over the diversion of N1billion, N100million, and money realised from the party primaries.
The Rivers State governor, informed that Dr. Ayu is already building a private university from the proceeds of corruption and insisted that such person cannot lead Rivers State to any campaign.
“I have challenged Ayu, you are corrupt and cannot lead me to campaign. I will not, Rivers State will not, whether they like it or not, Ayu cannot lead us to campaign. Ayu is corrupt.”
He further added, “You (Ayu) are building a university in Benue State, but you have not stayed one year in office. How do you fight corruption? I said you took N1billion, I told you, you took N100million, I told you, you took the money that we realised from the primary, Ayu sue me.”
The governor told Rivers people that PDP governorship candidate for the 2023 gubernatorial election is Siminalaye Fubara, and all Rivers people who are satisfied and attest to the quality services he has rendered in office will join to deliver Fubara as the winner of the election.
In his speech, Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom said governor Wike earned their respect for showing exemplary leadership. According to him, all G-5 governors have chosen to work with him since they believe in equity, fairness and justice.
On his part, Enugu State governor, Ífeanyi Ugwuanyi stated his support to the Sim-project which, will consolidate the New Rivers Vision and guarantee continual delivery of democratic dividend to Rivers people.
The Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu spoke and urged all Rivers people to support to deliver Fubara who will continue in the Wike’s trajectory of growth, development and progress for Rivers State.
Also speaking, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State expressed the hope that Rivers State will continue in their tradition of delivering all PDP candidates as known since 1999.
PDP deputy national chairman (South), Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja, expressed optimism that the party will win all elective positions in the 2023 general elections.
Arapaja commended the G-5 governors for their unwavering commitment to the party.
On his part, former governor of Ekiti State Ayodele Fayose urged the national leadership of PDP to use the available time to ensure that true reconciliation was achieved, before it is too late.
In his speech, Rivers State PDP governorship candidate, Siminalaye Fubara declared he will consolidate the successes of the Wike’s administration in all sectors when elected into office.
“It’s a day that we have all decided to support, to consolidate on that New Rivers vision and your support for consolidation of New Rivers vision is SIM.”
Rivers State PDP chairman, Ambassador Desmond Akawor described Fubara as educated, young and a technocrat who will take the State from where it is now to another height of prosperity.