Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has accused those who demanded from former president Goodluck Jonathan to relinquish his presidential ticket when he won to run for a second term in 2015 for the protracted crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Governor Wike made the explanation at the inauguration of Akpabu-Itu-Omudiogha- Egbeda Road in Ishimbam land of Emohua Local Government Area in Rivers State. Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Nweze Umahi performed the inauguration on Tuesday.
The governor said president Jonathan went to those chieftains of the PDP and pleaded with them to return, and work to ensure that the party won the 2015 election, but they refused unless he relinquishes the ticket to them. According to him, Jonathan specifically met with the current PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in Dorchester hotel in London and appealed to him to return to the party.
“In Dorchester hotel (London), he (Jonathan) went to plead with this our presidential candidate today, Atiku Abubakar, to say please my brother come back to the party and support me. You know the condition they gave to Jonathan, he should relinquish his ticket not to run as president of Nigeria. That was a sitting president and presidential candidate of a ruling party.”
Governor Wike wondered why people are now calling for his head because he and other governors that made up the Integrity Group are demanding that PDP national chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu relinquish his position.
“We are not saying the presidential candidate (Atiku Abubakar) should relinquish the ticket, we are not being selfish. We are saying since you’re now the presidential candidate let our people take chairmanship, they said they will kill me.”
Governor Wike explained that his previous face-off with Governor Umahi was not personal, but to protect the PDP whose mandate he took away to another party.
The Rivers State governor said he pulled out of that legal battle against governor Umahi because despite the fact that he hired the PDP lawyers, the national leadership of the party in Abuja did not consult with him when they decided those to likely replace the Ebonyi State governor.
“Let me publicly say, most people thought that you and I are quarrelling, we are not in speaking terms. My dear people, I want to say this, David Umahi has no problem with me personally. If there is one governor that David Nwaeze Umahi is very close to it’s me. I was defending our party when he took our mandate and ran away. And I said my brother bring back our mandate.”
He explained that he could not have continued to fight for a party that does not appreciate what he was doing for it.
“But you see in fighting for the party, there was nothing personal, even though the party you are fighting for turned around not to appreciate what you are doing. When you see Wike is fighting, there is nothing personal about it, but it is for the interest of the party. And I have said all those fights is no longer necessary. I won’t continue to fight and people will not appreciate.”