For Saturday’s election, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has urged the electorate in the state to cast their vote according to the “pattern adopted by the state government” if they want him to survive politically.
He told supporters to heed the instructions that would be dished out to them by their local political leaders who apparently must have been advised on which of the presidential candidates to support.
Governor Wike stated this on Saturday in his remark at the campaign rally of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state held at Captain Elechi Amadi Polytechnic in Port Harcourt.
“From ward by ward in our local governments, they will tell you what we have decided. If you want me to survive politically, follow the way we are going.
“We will not support those who say when they come to power, they will kill me. We will not support those who say when they come to power, they will jail me. Will you allow them to kill me? Will you vote for those who do not want us to exist? Are you sure?” Mr Wike said to the PDP supporters.
The governor’s remark is contained in a statement forwarded to PREMIUM TIMES by his spokesperson, Kelvin Ebiri.
Mr Wike, although a PDP member, had concluded he would not support the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in the forthcoming election.
Mr Wike was among the 12 PDP presidential aspirants defeated by Atiku at the party’s presidential primary election in May last year.
Since then Mr Wike has led four other PDP governors in an internal rebellion against Atiku and the PDP national leadership.
The G5, which Mr Wike and the other governors formed, has been demanding the resignation of the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, to pave the way for a southerner to lead the PDP in order to achieve a “regional balance”.
Both Atiku and Ayu are northerners.
The G5 also believes that it is the turn of the south to produce a president at the expiration of the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari, who is from the north.
Mr Wike, after he may have sealed a deal with the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, said recently that it was impossible for him and the G5 to negotiate peace with Atiku.
Speaking at the Saturday’s rally, Mr Wike commended the APC governors for insisting that the next president should come from the south. He told the PDP supporters that for equity and justice, there was a need for a power shift.
“We are going to vote for the unity of Nigeria. We are going to vote for equity, fairness and justice. And that is why I salute the APC governorship who came out to say, for this country to be united, for this country to move on as one, that there is the need for power to shift,” Mr Wike said.
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