Former Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose, has said the River state governor, Nyesom Wike will never support the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.
Recall that Fayose had recently paid a visit to Wike in Port Harcourt.
Although the details of meeting was not revealed, it may not be unconnected to the 2023 general elections.
Despite being a member of people’s democratic party, PDP, DAILY GIST reported that Fayose in a statement on wednesday had expressed his support for a southerner to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
Atiku Abubakar, a northerner is the presidential candidate of the party.
The former governor recounted how Mr Atiku “promised” to make Mr Wike, the Rivers State governor, his running mate after he was declared winner of the PDP presidential primary election.
Wike had on the heels of the turn out of the primaries accused PDP’s Southern governors of betraying the power shift agreement.
But, ever since the last outing which did not roll into his favour, his attempt to emerge as running mate to Atiku didn’t materialise.
Wike lost the Presidential Primaries of the party and also missed out on becoming its 2023 vice presidential candidate.
He has been very quiet on the development.
According to the former Ekiti governor, Mr Atiku failed to fulfil his promise to Mr Wike when he settled for the Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, as his running mate.
“Wike never said he wanted to be VP, but when Atiku visited him, he was the one who said, ‘I want you to be my VP’. He said that to Wike. If that then changes, is Wike not supposed to be told? Is he not supposed to know?”
He recalled that Mr Atiku had ignored the recommendation of a committee set up by the opposition party to pick his running mate.
“PDP set up a committee to recommend a running mate for the candidate and the committee voted and picked Wike, but they didn’t comply with the recommendation of the committee.”
“If the party is now a one-man show, we will show them that we can resist it. We are with Wike 100 per cent.
“When they need Wike’s money and Wike’s support, they will say, ‘Wike is good enough’. Wike has been injured, but we will remain with him. Whatever he does is what we would do; wherever he asks us to go is where we will go.”
When asked what would happen should Mr Wike ask them to support Mr Atiku, the former governor said: “Wike will never say we should support Atiku.
“Wike cannot come out to say he is supporting Atiku. I dare him to say so; because he knows that whatever he says will haunt him forever. If Wike supports Atiku, we will abandon him
Fayose insists that it is the turn of the southern region to produce a president.
He said: “The PDP Constitution provides for a rotational Presidency. Section 3(c) provides that the Party shall pursue its aims & objectives by adhering to the policy of the rotation & zoning of Party & Public elective offices in pursuance of the principle of equity, justice and fairness.
“The current President of Nigeria is a 2-term Northern Presidency, thus implying that it MUST be a Southern Presidency in 2023 or NOTHING. Awa ‘South’ lo kan’.”
The former governor asked Nigerians to “await details soon”.
On whether the plan is now to technically support the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Bola Tinubu, or his counterpart in the Labour Party, Peter Obi, Mr Fayose said: “this is not about Bola Tinubu or Obi, but this is about our belief that power must come to the south and it is a struggle we must actualise.
Mr Fayose further explained that “when the June 12 election was cancelled, the presidency was zoned to the southwest to pacify the southwest region.
“When former President Goodluck Jonathan was over staying, it was believed that he was already using the northern slot. So, he was opposed and a northern candidate was installed through the APC.
“This time, it is the turn of the south because Buhari has spent eight years. Why will PDP be insisting that it must again be the turn of the north.”
Mr Fayose also stated that he does not care if his actions are perceived as anti-party activity.
“ What I am saying is, it is the turn of the South, and if they want to expel me, to hell with them. I am not taking money from anyone to belong to this party.
“If they want to rock this boat, we will help them to rock it.”
The Rivers state governor, Wike is regarded as a victim of intense “powerplay and gang up” by vociferous forces within his party after he was denied the vice presidential candidacy despite being the party’s favourite.
He had been endorsed by the screening committee of the party but was passed over for Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State. This development reportedly left him very unhappy.
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