APC must ensure 2023 general election is not truncated, Wike tells Tinubu
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has urged the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to prevail on the Federal Government to ensure the 2023 general election is not truncated.
Wike noted that the alleged disregard of Central Bank Nigeria (CBN) of the Supreme Court on the naira policy should worry the APC-led Federal Government, particularly as the 2023 general election draws near.
Rivers State governor stated during a courtesy visit by the APC presidential candidate, Tinubu; his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima; APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu to the Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday.
On Tinubu’s entourage were, the governors of Kebbi, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu; Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu (Lagos); David Umahi (Ebonyi); former Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi; Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva; Tony Okocha and others.
Wike, who thanked God that the APC presidential rally in the state was devoid of violence, however, expressed reservation about whether the APC Federal Government was interested in conducting the 2023 general election, particularly with the lingering naira sway crisis.
“Do you people really want this election to take place or not; or do you have an agenda to truncate this election. I don’t know. Look at what is happening in Oyo today, Edo, and Delta. See what is going on.”
The Rivers State Governor maintained that the abrupt naira redesign and the consequent tactless implementation of the naira sway policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria smacks of pure politics. He insisted that irrespective of the politics, the ruling APC must ensure that the general election holds.
“I believe your party should make sure this election holds. You people are in power, ensure that this election holds. Nobody can solve the issue of corruption in two-three months. It is not possible. This thing is purely politically motivated.”
Wike took a swipe at the Governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele, for his blatant disregard for the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
“How can you people be in government at this time, governor of a Central Bank disrespecting the Supreme Court. Where has it happened in any democracy? The Governor of CBN is thinking of whether to obey the Supreme Court order. Where has it happened?
“I am not talking about Federal High Court order, not Court Of Appeal, I am talking about Supreme Court. Supreme Court said do not do this and everybody is folding hands begging Central Bank to obey the Supreme Court order. Which country has it ever happened to? When the order of the Supreme Court is not obeyed, what are you telling the poor people on the street.”
Wike, who described himself as an unrepentant member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said it was abominable for two PDP states, Bayelsa and Edo to join the federal government as defendants in the suit brought before the Supreme Court by some states challenging the naira sway policy.
“For the first time, I have seen a government procuring opposition to join them to defend their policy. A policy that is anti-people. You are now the ones procuring PDP to defend something that is totally wrong. I have seen anything like this in my life. It is a big shame.”
The governor commended the APC presidential candidate for his steadfastness and loyalty to President Muhammadu Buhari, despite the challenges he had faced in the ruling party.
Wike recalled that between 2017 and 2018, after a meeting in Paris with former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal and others, he was sent to persuade the APC presidential candidate to join the PDP.
“I came to your house in Bourdillon. I came and said to you sir, look at the way the country is moving. There is no way we can allow the current President to continue in 2019. You now asked me, okay, what are the alternatives? I said sir, we have Atiku, we have Tambuwal, we have Bukola. You laughed. You said look I will remain with Buhari. If these are your alternatives, I will remain with Buhari, that I don’t know them.”
Wike commended the APC state governors for their insistence that power must return to the south after president Buhari’s tenure.
“I thank APC governors for standing firm to say the unity of this country is more paramount. If you want to be president without peace, does it make sense? You must be President when the country is united and you enjoy being president.”
The governor described the APC presidential candidate as a man of character and courage. These attributes, he stressed, are what the country desperately requires now in her democratisation drive.
“I wish you good luck. I support the principle of fairness, equity and justice and that is what G-5 stands. G-5 does not stand for anybody.”
Wike advised the APC presidential candidate and the national leadership of the party not to invest resources in any of the party’s candidates in the state because none of them will win a single seat in the general election.
Earlier, the APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu informed governor Wike that the courtesy call was necessitated by his sheer regard and admiration for his advocacy that power should rotate to the south.
The APC presidential candidate said he joined the race to lead the country on the philosophy, which governor Wike has consistently advocated that power should return to the south.
“Our courtesy call, not to personalise it, is out of the respect I have for you. You worked hard and you voiced loudly your commitment to unity and the critical part to that unity in Nigeria, you never advocated a division of our country. You followed history. You respect the country.”
On his part, Adamu explained that he had deliberately resolved that power should rotate to the south at the end of President Buhari’s tenure.
According to him, the decision resulted in the emergence of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the APC’s presidential candidate for the 2023 general election.
According to him, Wike has, by his stance on power shift, demonstrated that he is a man of conscience.