Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State yesterday openly mocked the leadership of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and similarly waved aside speculations that he could be sanctioned for his alleged recalcitrant behaviour and anti-party activities.
Wike, who spoke at a media parley in Port Harcourt, opened up on events that led to the emergence of Atiku and his insistence that the party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, must step aside, adding that he would continue to oppose the party until the right thing was done.
The governor, who lost the presidential ticket to Atiku in the primary last May, has so far refused to be swayed by entreaties to work with Atiku and Ayu, and has been hobnobbing with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
When asked about his possible suspension for alleged anti-party activities, Wike asked, “Who will suspend me? The party? Which party? PDP? No problem. Look at the wahala (problem) you (PDP) are already carrying. They (PDP) can go ahead.
“I am not saying I am bigger than the party. But those who ran away from the party cannot suspend me from the party. I beg them (PDP) today and they shouldn’t waste time to tell the Governor of Rivers State you are hereby suspended from the party. Then, anything you see, you take! They (PDP members) know what I can do.
“What I am saying is that if we misuse this opportunity Nigerians are giving us, we will pay dearly for it. For me, everything must be done to make sure the right thing is done for us to get the support of Nigeria. But if we continue this way, we are going for a shocker, and that I can tell you.
“I believe justice, fairness, and equity should be allowed for our party to progress. That is when our party can stand as a party that wants to take over the reign of affairs of this country.”
Speaking on the party’s National Convention that produced Atiku, the Rivers governor said if not for the love he and others in his camp had for the main opposition party, they could have prevented the convention from holding.
He alleged that Ayu played a vital role that was detrimental to other aspirants in the emergence of Atiku as PDP’s flag bearer.
The governor alleged that Ayu called several presidential aspirants to step down for the former vice president during the convention.
“He was calling aspirants to withdraw for Atiku. I was there, Saraki and others were there. He manipulated the delegates. There was nothing Ayu did not do to ensure Wike didn’t emerge.
“A whole national chairman told some aspirants that if Wike wins that he was going to resign. As chairman of the convention, he allowed Aminu Tambuwal to speak a second time. Look, integrity matters.
“Meetings upon meetings were going on. Pressures were being mounted on people to step down. Even on the night of the convention, meetings were going on. That is why we started our convention late.
“Some of the retired generals were involved. Some of the meetings were held in their houses. There is nothing they didn’t do for me to step down. Those who know me, know that I would have stopped the convention, even if heaven falls.”