Wike: I’ve No Presidential Ambition

Nyesom Wike

•Flays security agencies over inability to check Amaechi’s supporters

By Davidson Iriekpen

Rivers State Governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike, has dispelled speculations that he is nursing the ambition of running for the presidency in 2023.

Wike also described as unfortunate the silence of security agencies in apprehending those that threaten to destroy the state.

The governor made the clarification when he appeared as a guest on ARISE NEWS Channel, the sister broadcast arm of THISDAY Newspapers at the weekend.

The governor described speculations linking him to the 2023 presidential race as distractions.

He said: “Right now, I am focusing on delivering the dividends of democracy to the people of Rivers State.

“Recall that in 2018 and 2019 when I was supporting my friend, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, it was speculated in the media that I was going to run with him. That was my first tenure and I have not even completed it and they wanted me to give that away.

“To clear every speculation, let me state that I am not going to run for the office of the president of Nigeria for now. I am concentrating on developing Rivers State. I am not a party to anybody saying that the problems in PDP is about 2023.

“That can be the problem in APC because it is the ruling party. This is the last tenure of Mr. President and he is going, so people are hustling to take over from him within his party. PDP has nothing to do with that because the way it is now, we are taking over from nothing.

“Now, I just started my second tenure and you’re talking about the presidency. When that enters anybody’s head then that person will not be able to provide the dividends of democracy to the people. And that is the problem you see in APC because everybody is thinking of taking over from the president instead of concentrating to do their work.

“They don’t even know the minds of Nigerians. But because of the kind of politics we have, people feel since Mr. President is leaving, they do not want his party to lose out. How will someone in an opposition party begin to contemplate of running for presidency when I still have time to provide things for my state?”

Commenting on former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s rumoured aspiration to contest for the presidency again, Wike said it was a fundamental right that nobody could deny him.

But according to him, it is too early to determine who will fly the presidential flag of PDP because the focus is on how to get the party more organised in order to secure more political seats.

“I am not interested in who wants to run for now. I am more interested that PDP should become more organised. Let us get more political seats. When the time comes, we will all sit down as a party to decide on who will fly the flag.

“Again, let me say, on whether I will support former Governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Amaechi, if he decides to contest for presidency as you have asked. I am a party person, so if he is running on the platform of PDP for presidency, why won’t I support him? I cannot do anti-party at this level to support a non-PDP candidate,” he said.

On zoning of PDP presidential ticket to the North, Wike said the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party had not taken a decision on it.

“We will come together to resolve issues because we are a family. Outsiders cannot do things that will divide us. What we are interested in now is how we can remain united to take over power from APC that has failed Nigeria.

“APC should not be allowed to continue to keep the country in its present calamitous state. We want to take over to move Nigeria forward,” he added.

Wike also flayed security agencies over their inaction to the threat by a pro-Amaechi group that threatened to unleash violence on the state.

He stated that these same APC supporters had threatened and actually attacked the state High Court because of internal party squabbles and the security agencies did not bring the perpetrators to justice.

Wike said the pro-Amaechi supporters were so daring because their paymasters had assured them of security cover.

“It’s really unfortunate that some people can now want to destroy the state. They issue threats and the security agencies cannot come out to say we can’t tolerate such threat against the peace and existence of the state. I will not go to court against anybody because the threat is in the public domain. It is obvious, that they have the police, Department of State Security, air force, navy and the army.

“Otherwise, how do you explain the long silence of the Nigeria security agencies over such threats already trending online? For whatever reasons, why won’t they bother about the person making such threats because of an internal problem within APC?

“Remember, for the first time in the history of this country when Chibuike Amaechi was governor, he shut down the courts for two years. Based on that experience, more threats and attacks are seen.

“The minister is now coming to say that he is not a man of violence which is not true. We are not children to be so deceived. During the campaign leading to 2019 elections, he came to the state chanting war songs and nobody cautioned him,” he said.