Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has warned that it is risky to neglect other ethnic groups in leadership consideration in the country, stating that he will not support anybody who believes that other ethnic groups cannot produce the president of Nigeria except them.
While chiding the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, for propagating the ideals he does not practice, Governor Wike argued that no ethnic group has an exclusive right to be the president of the country.
The governor stated this yesterday at the inauguration of the Rivers State PDP 2023 election campaign flag-off rally held at the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Omagwa, Ikwerre Local Council of the State.
The G5 Governors from Abia, Benue, Enugu and Oyo States, attended the inauguration as Wike boasted that no matter the manipulations on the governors by the powers that be, none of them will lose the governorship seat to another party in their respective states.
Wike explained that they were only on a mission to rescue Nigeria.
Wike said: “Not one of the states of PDP integrity governors will lose their governorship seats. Not one. No amount of gang-up will make us lose Abia, Enugu, Benue and Oyo states and who is that that will come and win Rivers State?
“I do not understand human beings, some people want to be governor of Rivers State since 2003 till now. What you must do to chase away your opponent is operation ‘show your report card.’ Do we have report cards? Have we done well? Mr President said we have done well and if the President says we have done well, who are these people? Do they exist? APC in Rivers State sold everything we had,” he said.
Speaking further, the governor wondered why anybody could go on national television to deride any tribe, insinuating that they are less Nigerians and therefore, do not qualify, on an ethnic basis, to ascend the presidency.
“My dear brothers of the integrity group, you’ve done well. They have tried to break us, they couldn’t break us and they will never break us. Here in Rivers State, I will say it and let the heavens hear me. Let the earth hear me today. I will not support anybody who says that no other person from another ethnic groups can be president. I will not do it.
“I mean, Nigeria belongs to all of us whether you’re from Hausa, Fulani, Yoruba, Igbo, Ikwerre, Urhobo, Itsekiri, Ijaw, or from anywhere; you are entitled to be president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“So, when you go on national television and tell anybody, don’t vote for the Yorubas, don’t vote for the Igbos, you didn’t even mention where I come from, which means, nobody identifies with me. Which means, I come from nowhere. But God knows that I come from somewhere.”
Governor Wike explained that his stance has nothing to do with the party because he believes in the PDP. He insisted that it is about the identity of a people who are Nigerians and therefore, should have equal status, no matter their ethnic groups.
The governor said when people do not acknowledge that you exist, there is a need to tell such persons that you do exist.
According to him, the people of Rivers State do exist and as Nigerians, they can also determine issues about the presidency, and become the president of Nigeria too.
Governor Wike challenged Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, the national chairman of PDP to sue him if he is not corrupt as accused, over the diversion of N1billion, N100million, and the money realised from the party primaries.
In his speech, Rivers State PDP governorship candidate, Siminalaye Fubara declared he will consolidate on the successes of the Wike administration in all sectors when elected into office.
“It’s a day that we have all decided to support, to consolidate on that New Rivers vision and your support for the consolidation of New Rivers vision is SIM.”
Rivers State PDP chairman, Ambassador Desmond Akawor described Fubara as educated, young and a technocrat who will take the State from where it is now to another height of prosperity.