By Charles Igbo
“If Wike is so much against Atiku’s candidacy because Atiku is from the North, why did he desperately lobby to be Atiku’s Running Mate?” – PDP Stakeholder
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, has condemned the Presidential tickets of both the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Wike spoke at a Special dedication Church Service for Rivers State PDP candidates at St Paul’s Anglican Church, Porthacourt on Sunday, December 11, 2022.
He said there is no difference between the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC, and that of the PDP which wants another Northerner to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023. Both of them, he said, should be condemned by the public.
He said it is hypocrisy to condemn the APC ticket of same faith, and not condemn the PDP ticket which seeks to retain the Presidency in the North after Buhari.
He said to sideline the Zoning principle of the PDP, is an insult to the South.
In a release, on his behalf, by his Spokesperson, Kevin Ebiri, after the Service, the Governor, apparently referring to his party, the PDP, said:
“You play on people’s intelligence. You say Nigeria is not ripe for a Muslim-Muslim ticket. I agree. But Nigeria is ripe for Presidency to remain in one Zone? I mean, just look at the insult. You blow hot and cold.
“Most of you just sit there, you don’t ask yourself questions. Somebody continues to sell this type of cheap ideas. You don’t ask the person, ‘I agree with what you are saying, but look at what we are saying here.’
“Your Party wants the Presidency to go to the same Zone where President Muhammadu Buhari is coming from. Who is cheating who?
“It is not now that politics has come, you want to come and tell the Church a different story for your own personal interest. We have to be careful so that the Church is not destroyed because, all of us, for example, we are Anglicans. I will not allow anybody, for his selfish interest, to destroy the Church of Nigeria. I will not allow that.
But many people have accused Wike of selfishness, and playing to the gallery. They say he is condemning the PDP ticket of Atiku Abubakar and Dr Ifeanyi Okowa because he was not given the Vice Presidential ticket. Asked one PDP high profile member: “If Wike is so much against the President coming from the North, why did he lobby to be Atiku’s running mate? Why did he contest for it? Did he forget Atiku’s Northern origin when he wanted to be his Running mate? Why did he hit the roof when he lost out to Okowa? If he had been given the Vice Presidential ticket, as he desperately wanted, could he have been condemning Atiku’s candidacy? Does Wike think he is talking to fools?”
The Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates of the APC are Bola Tinubu and Kashim Shettima, both Muslims. Tinubu is from the South and Shettima from the North. Those of the PDP are Atiku Abubakar a Muslim from the North, and Ifeanyi Okowa, a Christian from the South.
Wike allegedly failed in his bid to be Atiku’s running mate. Since then, he has been waging a war against the ticket.