As the crisis rocking the opposition party unabated, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike had a piece of advice for his political foes within his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – they should channel their energies into winning their states for the opposition party in next year’s general election rather making scathing remarks about him.
Specifically, Wike urged former Kaduna State Governor Ahmed Makafi to steer clear of his affairs.
The Rivers’ helmsman spoke a day after party Chairman Iyorchia Ayu claimed that ome forces were trying to destroy the PDP.
Wike said Makarfi’s priority as a former national acting chairman of the PDP should be the forthcoming 2023 general election and not saying uncanny things about him.
The governor spoke at the inauguration of the sand-filled area and estate layout by Enugu State Governor Ífeanyi Ugwuanyi in Ogbum-Nu-Abali, Port Harcourt.
He said: “This (yesterday) morning, I was watching Channels Television, I saw former national acting chairman of the party (PDP), Makarfi, and he said he is very close to me. I don’t know how close he is to me.
“Somebody who is close to me, I don’t know when last we spoke. I have never spoken to him for the past five months. So, if you’re close to somebody politically, there is no way in five months you won’t have spoken to the person is it not?
“He said, ‘Wike, you’re sabotaging other people’. I don’t know who says the other people have not. What I want to advise Makarfi is, look, you have a job, make sure PDP wins in Kaduna State. That is your job, leave Wike alone.
“Take it upon yourself that Kaduna falls to PDP. I don’t want to hear excuses that they rigged election or they didn’t rig election. That is what I’ve told everybody. In Kano, make sure PDP wins.
“In Niger, make PDP wins, in Jigawa, make sure PDP wins. If you win, then see whether PDP wins here or not. It’s operation deliver your state. Don’t use anybody’s state to add up.”
Two former governors – Aliyu Babangida (Niger) and Sule Lamido (Jigawa) – and Wike have been at loggerheads over the crisis rocking the PDP.
Wike also took on a PDP chieftain from Rivers State for joining the presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar at the defection of Senator Ibrahim Shekarau in Kano State.
He accused the unidentified chieftain of playing to the gallery, saying “the ‘rapist’ had not made any effort to attract anybody into the Rivers chapter of PDP”.
The governor said: “I was watching television yesterday (Monday) when they went to Kano to receive Shekarau. I saw one rapist from Rivers State sitting at the back where he went to join them to receive Shekarau but I asked him; ‘How many people have you made to join your party in your state?’
“You have gone to receive somebody somewhere but you have not made efforts to receive other people to join your own party in your state. You like when food is ready, you’ll go but for you to cook, it is where people have cooked that you go to eat the food but you won’t cook your own.”
He urged some politicians from Rivers to return home and work to increase the numerical strength of the party saying, “the best way to show capacity to deliver votes for the party will be to deliver votes from the polling units, wards and the state.
“It’s not to go to Abuja and begin to gossip, say all kinds of things, come home and mobilise, let us see the capacity you have. It’s operation deliver your poling units; operation deliver your ward and operation deliver your local government. That’s what politics is all about.”
On the project, Wike said his administration created a new city within the state capital out of a swampy mangrove that was a hideout for criminals and kidnappers.
He recalled how the people of Ogbum-Nu-Abali fought against the project and that one of them dragged the government to court.
“But they are happy with the transformation of the place. We have created a new city where people will live, provided them with water, electricity, sewage, everything. This place can take at least, not less than 160 families if allocated,” Wike said.
Ugwuanyi expressed delight to be invited for the third time to inaugurate projects implemented by the Wike administration.
Ayu, who spoke at Shekarau’s defection, boasted that “no one can destroy the PDP. We will never be distracted.”
According to him, the return of Shekarau had been his pet project.
He said: “Since I became the national chairman of PDP, one of my greatest ambitions has been to ensure Shekaru, a team player and decendant of the Mallam Aminu Kano political dynasty, returns to the PDP and now it’s a success story.
“Forces have been trying to destroy the party but no one can destroy it. We will never be distracted. We are going to win Kano and win in all parts of Nigeria. Our party is getting united because we believe everyone in PDP is important.”