R-L: Atiku Abubakar and Nyesom Wike
Former Jigawa State Governor, Sule Lamido, has reminded Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State that he would soon vacate the office he occupies and would no longer wield so much influence in the state.
Lamido stated this against the backdrop of the crisis afflicting the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the aftermath of its presidential primary that saw Wike lose the party’s ticket to former vice president Atiku Abubakar.
The Rivers Governor has been at loggerheads with Atiku over his refusal to pick him as his vice-presidential running mate. Atiku had settled for Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, as his running mate.
The crisis was deepened by Wike’s constant taunting of Atiku and the PDP leadership on national television.
During one of such instances, Wike had dared Atiku to take Rivers State for granted and see if he’d be able to draw votes from the state in the 2023 presidential election.
“If you say Rivers state does not matter, Rivers state will tell you, you don’t also matter at an appropriate time…Nobody will use our votes for nothing, our votes will matter and Rivers state must benefit from anybody we are going to support,” Wike, who didn’t directly mention Atiku’s name, had said during the commissioning of a road project in the state.
He added, “people should calm down. We are coming, nobody should panic. I’m fully in charge, don’t you know that? I am fully in charge! I’m not that kind of governor anybody can bring to Abuja to hold meeting, I’m not that kind of governor, I’m fully in charge here. If you say I’m not in charge, put your head and see whether you will come out, so all these big names, forget it. We are in charge.”
But speaking on Channels TV’s Politics Today on Tuesday, Lamido told the Rivers Governor that his influence in the state would soon fade away.
“Though I would have loved we discuss issues and not a person.
“How can somebody, who will soon become an ex-governor like me, claim to be able to determine Rivers’ votes?
“The Rivers people have been there even before him. They were there in 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011.
“So, it will not be correct for anybody to claim such influence on the voters,” said the former Jigawa Governor.
Lamido also faulted the PDP Board of Trustees Chairman, Senator Walid Jibril, for criticising the party for having its presidential candidate, the national chairman and BoT chairman from the northern part of the country.
“The BoT chairman’s statement was in his personal capacity. Maybe he forgot that in 2007 when we had the late Umaru Yar’Adu as our candidate, we had our chairman in the person of Ahmadu Alli from the same zone.
“What we did at that time was to wait till after the election. So, I don’t see why some are calling for the resignation of the chairman now.
“We are to face the general elections and we should rather be uniting than fanning the embers of division. In which way will the call for the chairman’s resignation now help us?
“It’s unfortunate that such a statement came from the BoT chairman.
“If there is a problem in the party, he should rather call the members of the party for a meeting than going on national television to make such a statement,” the former governor submitted.