Governor Nyesom Wike (centre) at a rally in the Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state on January 17, 2023Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has hinted that talks with his political allies in the G5 on the preferred presidential candidate to support in the February 25 election will soon be concluded.
Wike spoke on Tuesday during a rally of the Rivers State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.
The governor maintained that the people of the state know their political bearings and will not play second fiddle concerning the general election slated for February 25 and March 11 2023.
“Now, it is one man, one vote. All the votes must be in one basket from governorship to House of Assembly. The other one we are concluding. When we conclude, you will be told,” he told the party supporters at the event.
“Nobody should intimidate you. Nobody should tell you any story. We are free born of this country. We are not second-class citizens. Nobody can tell us anything. I dare them. Let anybody do any funny thing, We’ll tell them we are from Rivers State.”
The governor also said the 2023 elections is a fight to finish. “This election we are going for is a fight to finish and we are very ready. We are waiting for those strangers, those people who can sell their state for a pot of porridge, we are waiting for them to come back. Do they have anything to offer?” he asked his supporters who chorused a loud, “No”.
For months, the G5 has been at loggerheads with PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar and Iyorchia Ayu over the chairmanship of the latter. The five dissatisfied governors want Ayu to step down for a southerner as a precondition to support Atiku’s decade-long ambition in the February 25 presidential election. But Ayu has insisted that he would only resign after his four-year constitutional term.
Wike and his allies were reported to have met the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu in London recently on a possible deal but both the Rivers State governor and Tinubu have denied the meeting.
In November, Wike promised logistics support for the campaigns of Labour Party’s Peter Obi; and his New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) counterpart, Rabiu Kwankwaso. Wike has also of late hobnobbed with APC stalwarts like Adams Oshiomhole and Governors Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), and Ben Ayade (Cross River).
While Wike and his allies have not been seen to campaign for Atiku, it is not clear whether they will support Obi, Kwankwaso or Tinubu in the contest for Aso Rock’s top job.