Obasanjo to Wike: No unity without justice, fairness, equity


Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Monday met closed-door with three Peoples Democratic Party governors in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

The meeting came ahead of the 2023 presidential primary of the party.

In meeting with Obasanjo were Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Samuel Ortom (Benue State), and a former Cross River Governor, Donald Duke.

Punch reports that the governors arrived at Obasanjo’s residence at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library at 6.40pm in a long convoy and went straight into a closed-door meeting which lasted for about an hour.

Wike said he led the PDP leaders to inform and seek the support of the former President on his presidential ambition.

Speaking with journalists shortly after the meeting, Obasanjo admitted that Wike informed him of his presidential bid, but he said he wished him well.

He described Nigeria as a complex country but not difficult to manage if a “courageous leader is elected.”

According to him: “Of course, Governor Nyesom Wike as a presidential aspirant with Governor of Oyo, Governor of Benue, former Governor of Cross River and former Deputy Senate President and former Minister to express to me the desire and of course I made the point that I have always made that, I have ceased to be a partisan politician, I don’t belong to any political party, but if politics is the welfare of the people, I cannot cease to be a politician because I must always seek the welfare of the people.

“And of course, you all know what the situation of Nigeria is, and anybody who doesn’t know that is either not a Nigerian or is not being truthful to themselves, and we need, as I often said, no one individual can say yes I can do it, because the situation Nigeria is today, we need all hands, all Nigerian hands on deck to restore Nigeria and that is what Governor Wike is saying to me.

“Courage, he doesn’t lack it, and if you have courage and you have the conviction to speak your mind, well, you will have a saying in this part of the world that a person who speaks the truth all the time may not even get a mat spread for him because you will incur the displeasure of people, but you need the truth to be spoken and to get ourselves moved Nigeria on the path of unity.

“Of course, we cannot get unity if there is no justice, no fairness, or no equity. And when you have the basic ingredients that will bring unity and inclusiveness, then all other things will take their position. You will remove conflict, and you will be able to deal with this pernicious issue of insecurity and, of course, the issue of the economy and the wholesomeness of society.

“The issues he raised are the ones dear to my own heart for the unity and stability of Nigeria.

“There is one thing that I believe in, and I have always said it over and over again, Nigeria is a complex country, but Nigeria is not a difficult country; if we are sincere and fair to ourselves, it is not a difficult country to manage, and I wish him well.”

Responding, Wike said he has the courage and capacity to tame the nation’s insecurity if elected as President.

On the issue of zoning of the PDP presidential ticket, Wike said, “It’s not as if I am championing zoning; it’s provided in the constitution of PDP, section 7(3c) provided, in clear terms, unambiguity that there shall be zoning of political and elective offices. That’s what we are talking about in Nigeria.“Personal ambition will make us avoid or not do the right thing with impunity. But again, since they have decided there is no zoning, we are not running away; we have the capacity.

“As it stands today, you know that I’m the only candidate everybody is afraid of. You know because obviously, I have gone round. If you put your ears on the ground, who is likely…But we are saying that, let’s do the right thing.”