Rivers State Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has taken a swipe against those accusing him and Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State of frustrating the micro-zoning of the presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to South-East.
Governor Wike said he had always believed and supported concerted efforts towards ensuring that the presidency was zoned to the South.
He spoke at Itu Bridge Head, the venue of the flag-off of the Akpabu- Odido Road in Emohua Local Government Area on Monday.
“I was one of those who led the campaign that the party’s chairmanship should go to the North because I believed the presidency should go to the South.
“I attended meetings of southern governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other parties from Delta to Lagos to Enugu states, where we agreed that presidency should come to the south.”
Governor Wike insisted that while southern cross-party consultations were going on, people in the PDP were bent on frustrating the eventual zoning of the party’s presidential ticket to the South.
He maintained that such people cannot now turn around to blame him and Governor Ortom for hiding their scheme, thinking they could deceive Nigerians.
“I woke up this morning and read where they said how Wike and Ortom frustrated PDP’s micro-zoning of the presidential ticket to South East. That was what the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku said.
“I keep saying they’ll be contradicting themselves, telling lies up and down, thinking that Nigerians don’t know. How can they say that I influenced Ortom, told him to allow and threw the ticket open?
Governor Wike said, “Nigerians know those opposed to the zoning of the party’s chairmanship first.
“And when the zoning committee was set up, this time, Atiku had gone to buy form to frustrate the recommendation of the zoning committee.
“So that when they have bought form, they could say, oh, there is no need of zoning. Will you tell people to withdraw?”
Governor Wike said it is rather noteworthy that their gimmick is now hunting them because they were unfair to Nigerians.
“Yes, you don’t like Ortom, no problems. I know my own; you don’t like me, no problems. But I, my state, gave you the highest support in 2019, both with logistics and by votes.
“You can’t deceive every Nigerian again. What I have stood for are equity, fairness and justice.
“So, saying that Ortom and I frustrated PDP micro-zoning to South East is neither here nor there. They know they don’t want the presidency to come to the South.”
The Rivers State governor urged the presidential candidate of the PDP to leave him out of the attendant challenges he is facing in the party.
Governor Wike, however, stated that a wrong product is always challenging to sell; otherwise, former president Olusegun Obasanjo would have recommended Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to Nigerians having worked together with him.
But, instead of doing so, Governor Wike noted that the former president endorsed another presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi.
Governor Wike insisted that if former president Obasanjo had refused to recommend Alhaji Atiku, then something must be fundamentally wrong.
He opined that Alhaji Atiku should be more concerned about that loss of confidence from his former boss and his coming election.
Commenting on the road project, Governor Wike expressed gratitude to God that the Odido community will get a modern road for the first time during his administration.
Governor Wike boasted that given the overwhelming joy expressed by the Odido people, it is difficult to believe that they will cast their votes for candidates of another party except for the PDP.
Describing the project, Rivers State Commissioner for Works Dr George-Kelly Dakorinima Alabo said the Akpabu-Odido Road also has a 22meters long bridge.
According to him, with the contractor already mobilised to the site about two months ago, the project will be completed within the agreed five months period.
This will, he said, enable community members to drive on the road for the first time into their homestead, enjoy associated development, gain easy access to their farms and improve commercial life.
In his address, the Chairman of Emohua Local Government Area, Dr. Chidi Lloyd, said the Odido community is an island that has never seen asphalted roads and is not linked to any neighbouring community.
With the flag-off and commencement of actual construction work, Dr Lloyd enthused that it would be the end of the ordeal Odido people usually suffer.