Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has promised to provide Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate Peter Obi with “all logistical support” for his campaign in Rivers State ahead of the 2023 elections.
This was said by Governor Wike on Thursday in Port Harcourt at the opening of a flyover in the state.
Wike told Obi, who was in the state with his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, to open the ninth flyover built by Wike’s administration, “Each time you want to come to campaign in the state, let me know, all the logistics support we will give to you.”
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The event was shown on Channels TV, and NewsXtra monitored it.
A report in a national newspaper says that Wike made the promise after he signed Executive Orders that make it hard for politicians in and out of the state to get to places where they can campaign.
Wike praised Obi’s “humility and sterling leadership qualities” in a eulogy that came close to endorsing him for president. He also asked Obi to keep preaching the unity of the country.
“As a person, you have all the characteristics to lead this country; nobody can deny that.
“All I pray for is for God to give you the strength and wisdom to continue to move from one step to the other,” Wike said.
Wike and Obi ran for president of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but Obi later left the PDP and joined the Labour Party, where he won the party’s nomination for president.
Wike ran for the PDP primary, but he lost to Atiku Abubakar, who had been Vice President before.
At the event, Governor Wike made fun of Atiku for saying he would form a national unity government if he won the election in 2023.
“Some people said they will form a government of national unity. Start now to do, not to talk. If you cannot do for the small one, is it the big one?” the governor of Rivers stated, presumably about Atiku’s failure to convince PDP National Chairman Iyorchia Ayu to step down in favor of a southerner.
Wike and four other defiant PDP governors say that the fact that Messrs. Atiku and Ayu are from northern Nigeria creates a “regional imbalance” in the PDP.
Atiku had said it was strange for President Muhammadu Buhari to choose 17 people from the North to lead security agencies. He said that if he became president in 2023, he would fix it.
“Today, we have 17 heads of various security agencies. All of them come from the North. I will not do that. I will make sure that every geopolitical zone is represented in the security outfit. This is also another way you can unify this country and give every part of the country a sense of belonging,” Atiku said in a Channels TV report.
During his speech, Wike questioned why Atiku had to wait until election time to challenge Buhari.
“Who is fooling who?” Wike said. “All these past seven years, you have not challenged Buhari for doing that. The election has come; nobody should fool anybody.”
He told Atiku to start by fixing the “imbalance” in the PDP’s leadership.
Obi, in his comment, stated that whoever would come after Wike would face a difficult challenge in the process of the state’s development.
Obi told the people of Rivers State that next year’s election would be based on their ability to do their jobs.
Obi stated that the president was not a “retirement home” and that Wike was doing the job because he had the mental and physical energy to do it.
“I assure you of my commitment to a better Nigeria. We would continue to work with the good people of Rivers State. Take me as one of yours. I belong to you,” Obi told the people of the state as he asked them to back his bid for the presidency.
Obi said that people know where he went to school and who he went to school with.
“I have people in Rivers State that went to school with me. Some people, nobody knows who went to school with them,” said Obi.
He remarked that “things must change.”
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