Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has slammed political critics and members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who have condemned the same faith ticket but support a presidential candidate from the north.
The Rivers State governor who was referring to the PDP national leadership, made the assertion on Sunday, at the special dedication service for the Rivers State PDP 2023 general election campaigns rallies, held at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Port Harcourt.
Wike maintained that those involved in such double-speak and try to hoodwink some gullible few, know they are insulting the sensibility of well-meaning Nigerians who want a united country that advances national cohesion.
“You play on people’s intelligence; you say Nigeria is not ripe for Muslim-Muslim ticket, I agree. But Nigeria is ripe for presidency to remain in one zone? I mean, just look at the insult. You blow hot and cold.”
Wike urged those people who condemned the same faith ticket to also know that Nigerians were also saying it was wrong to retain the presidency in the north after President Muhammadu Buhari’s eight years.
“Most of you just sit there, you don’t ask yourselves questions. Somebody continues to sell this kind of cheap ideas,” he added.
He added, “Your party wants the presidency to go to the same zone where president Muhammadu Buhari is coming from. Who is cheating who?”
The Rivers State governor also spoke reminding the church of the need for it to participate in the voting process. However, he said, it should not get involved to the extent of serving as cannon fodder against any political party or political actor.
Wike pleaded with the church to be careful and resist those politicians who come to mobilise them as if there was a religious war to wedge.
“It is not now that politics have come, you want to come and tell the church a different story for your own personal interest. We have to be careful so that the church is not destroyed.
“Because, all of us, for example, we are Anglicans, I will not allow anybody, for his selfish interest to destroy the church of Nigeria. I will not allow that.”
Wike also, warned that his administration would not allow those who in the past instigated wanton destruction of lives and property in the state under the guise of politics to repeat same.
He appealed to members of the PDP in the state to resist deliberate attempt by some disgruntled politicians to provoke them ahead of the 2023 general elections.
He described as ludicrous and cheap blackmail the allegation by Dr. Abiye Sekibo that the state government recently resent thugs to attack them.
“Some people are saying we sent thugs to attack them. You see, when people see failure, they will begin to plan excuses. These are people all of us know our background and how we have won election in our various local government.
“I remember one of them during the last election could not even go to his local government. He ran down to Port Harcourt and stayed with me. Instead of you to tell your principal, this will be difficult for me, you are giving excuses.”
The governor who declared that he had never engaged in any acts of political violence in all his political career, urged those who might be planning to plunge the state into chaos to have a rethink.
“Anybody who knows me know, that I have never been violent. If I am violent, I won’t go to court. But we know those who planted killings in this state when they were Secretary to Government. We know them, but that killing will not happen again in the State. We will not give you the opportunity to try it again.”
Wike explained that the reason why Dr Sekibo and his associates were begrudging him was because he did not support their ambition to emerge to get the PDP governorship ticket.