Nyesom Wike has squashed insinuations that he will join the Progressives Congress (APC), taking a swipe at governors who defected to the ruling party.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has in recent months witnessed a wave of defections, raising concerns about the party’s viability. Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State moved to the APC this week, less than two months after his Cross River counterpart Ben Ayade dumped the PDP. Three PDP senators also confirmed their defection to the APC on Wednesday.
But Wike, the governor of oil-rich Rivers State and a strong critic of the APC, maintains that it is unthinkable for him to leave the main opposition party.
“It is not something to be discussed. How would any Nigerian feel that tomorrow I am discussing with the APC?” the governor asked when he featured on Channels Television’s current affairs programme Politics Today on Thursday.
He scolded governors and other members of the PDP who have joined the country’s leading party for being fearful and intimidated by the APC, insisting the APC has nothing on offer for him to move to their camp. The defectors, he claimed, had no reason to join another party.
“This people, because of one thing or the other, are trying to hide their inadequacies and inefficiencies and ensure that the government [at the centre] protects them. And they are always afraid,” Wike, a former minister of education explained, accusing the federal government of “fighting” Rivers State.
Governor Wike claimed those welcoming the decamped politicians to the APC have failed in delivering quality governance to their people, saying his main preoccupation at the moment is giving the right leadership to the south-south state.
“The problem with Nigeria today is insecurity. The problem with Nigeria today is poverty. The problem with Nigeria today is corruption, not to go and receive a governor somewhere,” he said. “They have nothing to show. I have no such time. You can watch it every day; we are busy.”
PDP Still Confident
Despite the defections, the National Chairman of the PDP Uche Secondus insists the party is not bothered about the development, assuring that it will reclaim the presidential seat it lost in 2015.
“We stand here to state clearly that we will form the next government, come 2023, because of the masses, not the governors who are leaving the PDP,” Secondus said during a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday.