Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has said he will never be party to a consensus candidate in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as being promoted by four northern presidential aspirants.
Wike spoke in Calabar when he went to consult the party for his presidential aspiration.
Four presidential aspirants, including a former Senate President Bukola Saraki, Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State, Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State and Mohammed Hayatu-Deen, have been consulting across the country to promote consensus.
Governor Wike condemned those asking for consensus, saying the party must not condescend to accept a consensus candidate.
“I am not for that rubbish called consensus. They came to me, and I have told them bluntly that I am not party to it.”
Wike also maintained that he is emphatically running for the office of president and will not negotiate for even the office of vice president with anybody.
“I am going round all the states in Nigeria to confirm that I will run for president of Nigeria. I am not going to negotiate for vice president but to win the PDP ticket and win the election.
“People have pressurised me to rather buy ticket for Senate. But I said I am quite fit and ready for the race. I am ready to demonstrate power and power to win the election, nothing more. I have more energy to dissipate,” he said.
Meanwhile, another presidential aspirant of the party, Peter Obi, has said he believes in any arrangement of the party to pick its flag bearer provided it is fair, equitable and inclusive.
Dr. Obi said this in Benin yesterday while trying to woo PDP members, delegates at the party secretariat.
“For me, whatever arrangement you do, as long as it is fair, equitable, respect for every zone, show love and is inclusive, I stand by it. I believe in inclusiveness,” he said.
He said the insecurity, economic and other crises in the country today are the cumulative effect of the leadership failure over the years, noting that there is no country in the world that goes the way of Nigeria that would not have problems.
Also, the Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, urged the party to embrace justice, fairness and equity in the selection of its flag bearer in the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
Obaseki, who stated this when he hosted Obi, said “Edo will not be part of any arrangement that is not inclusive and equitable as the state is interested in achieving a united and progressive Nigeria.”
But a former Senate president, Anyim Pius Anyim, has warned the party leadership not to jettison zoning.
Addressing members of the National Working Committee (NWC) after submitting his presidential nomination and expression of interest forms, at the PDP secretariat, Anyim said as a true party man he would abide by the decision of the party.
He said democracy thrives on three certainties, “Certainty of tenure, Certainty of structure Certainty of process. At any time any of these ‘certainties’ is no longer guaranteed, democracy will corrupt justice and enthrone inequity.”
He also said: “My appeal is that zoning being a fundamental principle of our party, should not be jettisoned. Democracy, being a system of rules and order, depends on strong institutions for its sustenance and success.
“When a system can no longer defend its rules, it will enthrone the reign of might as against the rule of law.”