Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has said that some of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, presidential aspirants do not have the interests of the people of the state and Niger Delta at heart. Wike said this while reacting to the alleged opposition of some of the aspirants to the October 5 and 6 national Convention in Port Harcourt.
The Governor, who addressed reporters in Port Harcourt on Monday, said the aspirants are, by their actions, showing they are against the economic interest of the state and Niger Delta. He said such aspirants are also not living up to their campaign for the restructuring of the country.
PDP will hold its convention for the election of its presidential candidate on October 5 and 6 in Port Harcourt, capital of Rivers State. Thirteen aspirants are billed to participate in the contest. Although some aspirants have endorsed the Port Harcourt venue, there has been disquiet over its choice. “Those against the PDP convention holding in Port Harcourt don’t have the economic interest of Rivers and Niger Delta at heart.
“If you are telling the people of the state, and by extension, Niger Delta, that you don’t want such event to hold in their domain, as an aspirant, how will you act when you become a president? “How do you expect the people you are telling that you don’t like their state to vote for you during the election?”
The governor said it was worrisome that the same people who have been traversing the length and breadth of the country, calling for the restructuring of Nigeria, are aspirants kicking against the choice of Port Harcourt as venue for the convention. “Why are they not acting in tandem with their campaign for the restructuring of Nigeria? “From their opposition to Port Harcourt, it means the restructuring campaign is mere lip service.”
All the aspirants, he said, will enjoy the level-playing field, and insisted that the choice of Port Harcourt is not meant to give any aspirant an edge over others. “Every aspirant will be given level-playing field” and added “that it is holding in Port Harcourt does not mean anybody will have undue advantage. “What it will do for the state is that it will boost its local economy because groundnut, sachet water sellers and food vendors will have more sales. Hoteliers will also record increased business.
“That is the only thing Rivers state stands to gain from the holding of the convention in Port Harcourt. And, anybody who is against Port Harcourt hosting the event does not like the state. He is against the economic interest of the state.” According to Wike, the person who will emerge the candidate of the party will do so on the basis of his political clout and not on any other consideration.
He stressed that what every PDP member needs at the moment is not to bicker over the choice of convention venue but to work in unity, to achieve the goal of the party which he said is to wrest power from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). “We need to work together, we don’t need any division at this moment. Our goal must be to win in 2019,” the governor noted.