The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has said he will support the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, to ensure he defeats the incumbent president, Muhammadu Buhari, of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2019.
Mr Wike, who acknowledged supporting the Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal, during the just concluded PDP presidential primary in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, said he has no regret supporting Mr Tambuwal.
“I supported the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal fully. I have no regrets for my support for Tambuwal.
“But the party has made a choice and as a loyal party man, I stand by the choice of the party. I will support His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar to victory in 2019,” a statement from the Government House, Port Harcourt, quoted Mr Wike as saying on Sunday in Port Harcourt during a thanksgiving service for the successful hosting of the PDP national convention in the city.
The statement was issued by the governor’s media aide, Simeon Nwakaudu.
“That is what is called party loyalty,” Mr Wike added.
The governor made a case for all the party leaders, members, and supporters to come together and work for the victory of the party’s candidate, Mr Abubakar, in the 2019 election.
“We must put our heads together to ensure that this bad government is sacked. We must ensure that this bad government goes in 2019.
“If this same government returns in 2019, then Nigerians are digging their graves. The suffering now will be a child’s play. That is why we must work for the good of our people,” he said.
The PDP, he said, would surely win in Rivers in 2019.
Mr Wike said he insisted that the convention be held in Port Harcourt because of the benefits it was going to bring to the local economy and the fact that “Rivers has been the home of PDP since 1999.”
“Rivers State has made PDP proud and we shall continue to make PDP proud. God lives in Rivers State,” he said.
The PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, called on Nigerians to support the PDP.
“Let us take back our country from destruction,” Mr Secondus said. “Everything about this country has collapsed.”
He said Mr Abubakar is the best candidate to drive the country to growth and prosperity.
“APC will be finally buried in February 2019,” he said.
The PDP presidential candidate, Mr Abubakar, scored 1,532 votes at the convention held on the October 6 and 7 to defeat 11 other aspirants.
His closest rival, Mr Tambuwal, scored 693, while the senate president, Bukola Saraki, came third with 317 votes.
Immediately it became clear that the former vice president had won the primary, Mr Wike walked over to where he was sitting to congratulate him, and then exited the convention venue with his supporters.
During his victory speech at the convention, Mr Abubakar said he looked forward to working with Mr Wike, apparently underscoring the governor’s influence in PDP and in Nigeria’s South-south region.