Nyesom Wike, Rivers State governor has said Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, did not consult him before picking members of his campaign council from the state.
Wike spoke at the inauguration of the Rivers State PDP Campaign Council in Port Harcourt, the state capital on Monday.
He claimed that Atiku selected “enemies” of Rivers into his campaign council for the 2023 general elections.
According to Wike, Atiku’s photos and those of PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, have been missing in PDP campaign materials in the state because they don’t want him to campaign for the party at the national level.
“Some people have asked me why is it that they don’t see the presidential candidate’s picture (and) the party chairman’s? I said what are you talking about? The presidential candidate entered my state and picked members of the presidential council without a whole governor of a state having a contribution,” he said.
“The presidential candidate entered Rivers State and picked those he wants to pick without the contribution of the governor. So, they said they don’t need me to campaign for them, that they don’t need Rivers people to campaign for them. Will you force yourself?
“I have never seen how people will disrespect a state like Rivers State and go and choose those who are enemies of the state without the contributions of us.”
Wike said PDP members in Rivers do not know the state nominees in Atiku’s campaign list, noting that he and the party in the state will only campaign for the governorship candidate, the senatorial candidates, and others who carried them along.
“If they want us to be involved in the campaign, they will come and tell us. If he thinks we are important, they will come and meet us,” the governor noted, adding that nobody can intimidate Rivers when he is governor of the state.
Speaking further during the inauguration Wike said, “This campaign council is to bring out strategies on how to campaign on how to follow the election. This election is a different election. It will not be as usual.”
The governor said each local government in Rivers will have its own strategy to mobilise the people.
“Some of you have been quarreling that my name is not there. The campaign council is just a general policy council and they will now bring people who will be in each of the committees…those of you who are crying my name is not there, everybody’s names cannot be in the campaign council; it is not possible.
“And two, the campaign council is not for sharing money. I am the chairman of the campaign council. So, think that you will submit your budget to the governor and DG (director general). The campaign council will approve every budget which is presided over by me, the DG is for implementation. So, don’t think that the governor is my person. It doesn’t work that way.”