November 27, 2022

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2023: Atiku’s ally attacks Wike as PDP crisis deepens

Mr Lamido said the Rivers governor is acting like an emperor and that the people of the state will only follow his order if they are slaves.

A former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, has said Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State will become a liability after the expiration of his tenure in May next year.

He also said Mr Wike does not have monopoly and control over the political choices of the people of Rivers State.

Mr Lamido made these comments on Tuesday during an interview on “Politics Today” a political programme on Channels TV.

He was responding to the face-off between Mr Wike and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar.

Mr Lamido is one of Atiku’s key loyalists.

Mr Wike will complete his second term as governor of Rivers State on 29 May, 2023.

Mr Lamido said the Rivers governor is acting like an emperor, stating that the people of the state will only follow his order if they are slaves. He added that he is angry with the “bombastic rants” by Mr Wike regarding control of the structure of the party in the oil-rich state.

Mr Lamido’s comment is coming amidst the efforts to reconcile Messrs Wike and Atiku.
It also comes on a day reports emerged that Mr Wike and some of his allies met with the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu.
defeated Mr Wike and others in the PDP primary election.

Angered by his loss in the primary, Mr Wike believes that the last-minute withdrawal of Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State from the presidential primary at the May 28 convention in Abuja played a part in the outcome of the exercise.

The conflict was further exacerbated after he was overlooked for the position of running mate to Atiku and the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa was selected.

Mr Wike and some governors of the party who support him have made some demands of the PDP. The group reportedly demanded the resignation of the National Chairman of party, Iyorchia Ayu, to pave the way for a replacement from the southern zone.

PREMIUM TIMES had reported that a three-man delegation from Atiku’s camp, led by Adamawa State Governor Ahmadu Fintiri, recently met with Mr Wike in Port Harcourt.

Other members of the delegation include a former governorship candidate of the party in Ondo State, Eyitayo Jegede, and Akilu Indabawa, a former Special Adviser on Political Matters to former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Mr Wike has also been hobnobbing with members of other political parties, specifically, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and Labour Party (LP).

Wike, a political liability
Mr Lamido said people are only listening to Mr Wike because of the position he occupies as governor, not based on his personality.
According to him, Mr Wike will become a political ‘destitute’ in eight months when his tenure as governor will expire.

Mr Lamido said the people of Rivers State have always been in the PDP, adding that in every state, there is a ‘Wike’.

“Right now, if you go to Rivers, there were 13 governorship aspirants for the governorship candidate in Rivers State, it was Wike who imposed the current candidate. The others are there complaining and screaming. I saw him on TV talking the other day, he was very bombastic. He was saying that he would not allow this and that.

“In the next eight months, he will become a political destitute like me,” he said.

Mr Lamido added that “Wike is an individual. I don’t think because he is a governor, then he has the monopoly and control over Rivers. He does not have it. He is always speaking because he is a bluff. The people of Rivers State are in PDP in their own right.

“Because he is now a governor, he can appropriate sovereignty and become an emperor because he is a governor. It cannot work. There is a Wike in every part of the country. Leave Wike alone, he can give order to Rivers people if they are enslaved to him. If they are his slave— fair enough, he is their emperor, let him give orders.”

Mr Lamido also dismissed the call for the resignation of Mr Ayu.

He said it was not the first time both the presidential candidate of the PDP and its national chairman would come from the same part of the country. He said the former National Chairman, Ahmadu Ali, from Kogi State, was the party’s national chairman when former President Umar Yar’Adua, from Katsina State became its president candidate in 2007.

“In 2007, when we had Yar’adua as the candidate, we also had Ahmadu Ali from the same zone. There is a difference between a candidate and the president of Nigeria, at that time, we said ‘fair enough, if PDP wins, we will swap the position,” Mr Lamido said.

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