29th November, 2022
By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Rivers governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike again refused to tell the people of the state to vote for the presidential candidate of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the 2023 election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
Rather, Wike said he he will soon tell the people of Rivers who among the 18 presidential candidates in the 2023 general election to vote for.
Wike is leading five governors of PDP who have refused to support the candidacy of Atiku over the continued stay of Iyorchia Ayu as the chairman of the party.
Wike and his colleagues in the so called G5 are demanding that Ayu should vacate office with the emergence of Atiku who is from the Northern part of the country like him as the party’s presidential candidate.
They want a Southerner to take over as the chairman of the party.
But Ayu who was elected late 2021 for a four-year-tenure had insisted that he will run out his term of office.
He has the support of Atiku and as a result Wike and his colleagues in G5 have continued to boycott the presidential campaign rallies of PDP.
Wike, while inaugurating the Rukpokwu-Rumuapu-Izo-Ogbodo Igwuruta Link Road Rumuapu community in Obio-Akpor Local Government Area on Tuesday indicated that he is still not ready to back off from opposition to Atiku’s candidacy because of Ayu, according to a statement by Kelvin Ebiri, his Special Assistant on Media.
The governor said because of the performance of his administration in terms of provision of critical infrastructure, Rivers people are already home PDP.
He then charged the electorate to cast their votes PDP gubernatorial candidate as well National Assembly to State Assembly candidates while the decision on which presidential candidate they will vote for will be taken later.
“Then the other one (presidential), I will come and tell you where we will vote. These ones (governorship, Senatorial, Reps and State Assembly candidates) I mentioned now, make sure you come and vote for them. Very soon, we’ll meet in our houses and a take decision where we are going to.”
Governor Wike mocked governorship candidates of other parties in the State, who he said are not in touch with the people at the grassroot.
According to him, these candidates, he stated, do not also have any follower, no traditional or political opinion leaders who can help galvanise the support of the electorate for them.
Such candidates, governor Wike noted, are only desperately going about collecting money from people in the guise of preparing for election when they know that they are not in the race to win the election.
Governor Wike said Rivers electorate will vote the party that has come to their aid, supported and made them happy while also sustaining the peace in the State.
“You will work for a party that has come to your aid, a party that has brought dividends of democracy. If the people of Rukpokwu are not happy, will they be here. Governance is all about the happiness of the people. When the people are happy, we are happy. So, if I come here to address you everybody will listen to me.”
The Rivers State governor boasted that his administration has attended to every area of development concern in Apara kingdom, particularly on the provision of roads.
He has therefore, challenged any person within the kingdom in Obio Akpor Local Government Area to dare mention any that has been left unattended.
On the issue of security, the governor said with the inauguration of the Police Intelligence and Surveillance Centre in Port Harcourt by the Inspector General of Police on Monday, criminals involved in kidnapping will be easily arrested for prosecution.
“Yesterday (Monday), the Inspector General of Police came and we commissioned the Intelligence and Surveillance Centre. I want to tell all of you who may be thinking of kidnapping. The time is over. As it is now, in that Intelligence Centre, we will be watching you on screen. Anywhere you are on the road we are seeing you. That period is over when you think you will commit a crime and runaway.”
In his address, Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Dr George-Kelly Dakorinima Alabo stated that the Rukpokwu-Rumuapu-Izo-Ogbodo Igwuruta Link Road connects the Obio-Akpor and Ikwerre Local Government Areas.
The road, he said, is 7.6km in length, 7.3 meters in width with 7km of drains, which has been delivered in the best quality specified. It has already enhanced the ease of doing business in the area.
The Chairman of Obio-Akpor Local Government Area, George Ariolu, who commended the governor for his aggressive infrastructure development, assured him that the people of the council will be fully mobilised to vote for the State PDP candidates in the 2023 general election.
Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike (middle), his deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo (2nd right); Senator Barry Mpigi (1st right); former Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Chibudom Nwuche (1st right) and former Rivers State PDP chairman, Felix Obuah (2nd left) at the inauguration the Rukpokwu-Rumuapu-Izo-Ogbodo-Igwuruta Link Road on Tuesday.