Wike denies travelling with PDP govs to Europe to select presidential candidate
• Accuses Dokpesi of working for APC
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has refuted trending reports that he and other Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors travelled to Europe to determine the 2023 presidential and vice presidential candidates for the party.
The governor accused those behind the rumour of deliberately sowing seeds of discord in a bid to ruin the chances of the PDP in 2023 general elections.
Wike, yesterday, in Port Harcourt, in a statement by his media aide, Kelvin Ebiri, said PDP governors had been inundated with calls following a text message being peddled by a chieftain of the party, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, that some governors had embarked on a week-long trip to Europe to determine those who would be presidential and vice presidential candidates of the party in 2023.
“I have always said to people in PDP, nobody should cause a division among the governors. We are trying as much as we can to build the party back and see that in 2023 PDP takes over governance. But, I have some suspicion that people like Raymond Dokpesi are not really sincere to the party and I think I’m convinced that Dokpesi appears to be working for APC.”
He continued: “I don’t understand where Raymond Dokpesi of this information from, this rumour that governors travelled to Europe to decide who will be the presidential candidate and vice presidential candidate of PDP. I wonder why governors will travel to Europe to take such a decision.”
The governor said while he and his colleagues didn’t have anything against Dokpesi campaigning for the 2019 PDP presidential candidate and former Vice President of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, he should be circumspect and desist from causing confusion in the party.
“I’ve told Raymond Dokpesi that there is nothing wrong with you preaching for the candidature of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar the Waziri of Adamawa, a very experienced man, an intelligent man, a strategist. But don’t destroy other people because of this. Because when you destroy them, it will be difficult for PDP to win election in 2023.”
The Rivers State governor implored Atiku, who he described as a well-known political strategist to rein in Dokpesi from spreading dangerous rumours capable of polarising stakeholders in the party.
Wike noted that in 2019, PDP governors, without the prompting of Dokpesi rallied round Atiku and would do so again if he picks the party’s presidential ticket.
Wike also dismissed insinuation that PDP governors, particularly, Oyo State Governor, Seye Makinde, want to usurp the function of National Working Committee in a bid to impose the party’s candidate in Osun State.
He explained that Makinde, who is the only PDP governor in the South West geopolitical zone, deserves to be consulted as it concerns the forthcoming governorship elections in Osun and Ekiti states.
Wike said it would be politically wrong for people outside the South West geopolitical zone to determine what happens in Osun, without the contribution or better still, input of the Oyo State governor.