PDP’s Focus is Winning in 2023, Not Zoning, Says Wike

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Nyesom Wike

•Accuses APC of plotting violence in Edo governorship election

By Chuks Okocha

The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Campaign Council for Edo State governorship election and Rivers State Governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike, yesterday said the focus of the party in 2023 presidential election would be winning and not zoning.

He also accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of inciting violence in the upcoming September 19 election in Edo State.

Speaking yesterday on Sunrise Daily, a programme on Channels Television monitored in Abuja, the governor said the PDP would not bother itself for now about zoning, but about how to win 2023 presidential election.

Responding to the issue of zoning, Wike said: “When I came on board, people were saying no, because of my ethnic group but there was an argument that we are an opposition party. What we want to do is to win elections.

“As an opposition party, we look at all variables. What will make us win the election should come first. That is what is important to us. The ruling party can say that (zoning) but for the opposition party, there are variables.”

When asked to state his position on the raging zoning debate, the governor responded, “It depends. As an opposition party, we look at all variables. Forget about other parties. We look at all variables and our own concern is how do we win? How do we get back power?

“So, it is not one factor that will influence us. So, many variables will come into play. So, it will be wrong for me as an opposition person to say this must be done now. No, I will not do that.”

While responding to a statement credited to the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, that violence would be met with violence in reaction to alleged threats of violence by the APC, Wike said it was the candidate of the APC, Mr. Osagie Ize-Iyamu, that was seen in a video clip inciting his supporters to cause mayhem during the election.

Wike said: “Who is inciting violence? The APC governorship candidate was seen with his thugs and cultists threatening violence- telling them to move from polling stations to polling stations and cause crisis.

“We know that there would be no movement during elections and yet in the video, Pastor Ize-Iyamu was heard asking them to go there and capture votes.”

Wike explained that the Edo State gubernatorial election would be easily won as it would be based on performance, adding that “the APC has nothing for performance.”

He said the election would help bring to an end the era of godfathers in politics.
He wondered who was campaigning for an elective office between Ize-Iyamu and the former National Chairman of the APC, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole.

“Oshiomhole is always in the front, overshadowing the main candidate who is always in the background. This election will bring to an end to godfatherism in Nigeria’s politics,” he said.