Chuks Okocha and Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
A former Senate President, Pius Anyim, yesterday disputed Governor Nyesom Wike’s account of events that led to the choice of ex-Governor Peter Obi as the running mate to Atiku Abubakar in the 2019 presidential election.
The lawyer and politician denied ever discussing Obi’s matter with Wike or fighting him over his (Wike’s) purported support for Obi to be made the vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the time.
In a statement he personally signed, Anyim urged Wike to refresh his recollection of the narrative, explaining that he neither knew how Obi was picked by Atiku nor did he attend any of the meetings where the matter was discussed.
“My attention has been drawn to a statement by Governor Nyesom Wike during his media chat of 22nd of March, 2023. In a response to a claim that he came after Governor Peter Obi during the 2023 presidential election, Wike recounted how he made it possible for Obi to be PDP vice presidential candidate in 2019 and that Obi was not appreciative.
“In Wike’s words :’l was fought by people like Ike Ekweremadu, Governor Dave Umahi and Pius Anyim’. I would have ignored this misspeak by Wike, hoping that the Pius Anyim referred to is not myself.
“But reading it on Page 26 of Daily Sun of today (yesterday) 23 March 2023, confirms to me that I may be the one referred to, hence the need to put the records straight,” he stated.
Anyim contended that the PDP presidential primaries of 2019 held in Port Harcourt and that he did not attend.
In addition, he stressed that after Obi’s nomination as running mate raised some dust in the South-east, PDP governors and party leaders from the region met on the matter in Ekweremadu’s home in Enugu, explaining that he was also not at that meeting.
Thereafter, the former senate president noted that the presidential candidate, Atiku, held a town hall meeting with PDP leaders from the South-east at Nike Lake hotel Enugu, which he did not also attend.
“I want to state clearly, for Wike’s recollection, that I did not and never shared any view with him on any candidate in 2019; neither his own candidate, who then was Governor Aminu Tambuwal nor Atiku Abubakar who won the primaries, talkless (sic) of Obi.
“I did not know how Obi emerged as PDP vice presidential candidate and I never cared to ask but maintained a stand that the reaction that followed his nomination would also have happened to any other person from the South-east,” Anyim added.
He explained that Wike may need to confirm from Obi that he (Obi) from the beginning to the end of the 2019 elections, enjoyed his (Anyim’s) encouragement and goodwill.
Anyim pointed out that the purpose of the clarification was to keep the records straight and to reconfirm to Wike that the Rivers governor was mistaken if the Anyim he referred to in his chat was him.