By our reporter| Former Ekiti state governor and close associate of Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike on Friday called on members of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to close ranks and ensure that Atiku Abubakar wins the presidency in 2023.
The former Ekiti state governor who was hosted by Rivers state governor, spoke while inaugurating a project in Obuama, Rivers state.
The PDP has been engulfed in a crisis following the emergence of Atiku Abubakar as the party’s flagbearer in the presidential primary election in May, and the choice of Ifeanyi Okowa, the Delta state governor as his running mate.
Following the emergence of Abubakar as the PDP flagbearer, Fayose while opposing the emergence, insisted that a southerner must succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
Fayose, who was a contestant in the PDP presidential primary, had attributed his rejection of a northern candidate to the party’s constitution which supports zoning.
“The current President of Nigeria is a 2-term Northern Presidency, thus implying that it MUST be a Southern Presidency in 2023 or NOTHING,” he tweeted at the time.
However, speaking on Friday in Rivers, the former Ekiti state governor argued that “the needful” should be done to help Abubakar win the presidential election in 2023.
“For me, I want to believe his excellency, Atiku Abubakar, is not against you but let me say this quickly. A lot of people surrounding the throne are enemies of the throne, and a lot of people surrounding the throne have an issue to grind with somebody or some issues with somebody and they take it to where they are not supposed to take it,” he said.
“There is no living being within this party and outside this party that will not acknowledge your contribution to this party. You are the soul of this party even till now. What you do, how many people do it?
“Let me say your good works will never go unrewarded. I have found out some things. The people that have benefited from you are the people that have pulled people down – the people you brought up, the people you laboured over day and night.
“I believe the needful will be done because winning an election is all that matters. Wike has not come out to say that Atiku Abubakar is not the presidential candidate.
“I was there the second day after the election when our candidate, the former vice-president, visited the house, the residence of governor Wike, and we had mutual conversations. We were all happy. Everything was in place to move forward. I spoke at that meeting, but we don’t want to aggravate this situation.
“I am only appealing to people that matter. In every political party, there would be groupings, the same family, and different interests, but we can do better than we are doing. People around the corridor of power, please allow this candidate to win the election.
“We do not celebrate victory until it is ours. Even in my state, they said that Fayose is Tinubu’s man. Like I said, people were decamping — sitting governors. I did not. Some people believe that you have to destroy your leaders before they can rise.”