Gospel Singer And Leader Of Wike’s Live Band Survives Fatal Auto Crash

 

Port Harcourt-based gospel artist, Sensational Bamidele, who also leads the live band that performs at the project commissioning ceremonies of the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has survived a fatal auto crash in which three people are said to have died.

Bamidele, who hails from Okirika Local Government Area of Rivers State, was involved in the accident on the road that was commissioned by Governor Wike on Thursday, moments after performing at the ceremony.

He got involved in a head-on collision with an oncoming vehicle not long after leaving the venue of the commissioning in Rumuodogho 1 and Rumuodogho 2 communities in Emohua Local Government Area.


READ ALSO: Survey Ranks Jigawa Highest With Multi-Dimensionally Poor Children Rate

 

The singer, in a Facebook post, confirmed the deaths but did not give the casualty figure.

“May the souls of the departed rest in peace,” he wrote, indicating that the deceased were occupants of the vehicle that colluded with his, while he and his crew are alive.

Bamidele is said to be receiving treatment in the hospital.

The singer and his crew of young talented singers and instrumentalists are known for their freestyle on many of the songs they perform at the commissioning of projects and sometimes at PDP rallies, including the popular, “As e dey sweet us, e go dey pain them”, and “Wike dey come”.


N/B: View discretion is advised, as some readers may find the photos below, disturbing.   


 

Brain Drain Results From Insecurity, Dearth Of Requisite Equipment – Wike

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has identified the intractable insecurity situation in Nigeria as one reason why most professionals leave the shores of the country in droves for greener pastures.

Governor Wike spoke on the cause of brain drain at the inauguration of the Renal/Dialysis Centre and House Officers Quarters at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.

The Rivers State governor maintained that welfare of doctors and other professionals are not primarily the sole reasons for brain drain in the country.

He noted that because of the looming unemployment situation in the country, most people now opt going outside of Nigeria for the dream job they required.

Even when some of professionals are employed within Nigeria, governor Wike insisted that such persons are not provided with the requisite equipment to use in their various organisations and industries.


READ ALSO: Alleged Defamation: Aisha Buhari To Testify Against University Student


“When you talk about brain drain, it is not only associated with the medical profession. So many people leave this country because of unemployment. So many people have left this country because of insecurity. So many people have left this country because where they work the equipment is not there.

“It is not only just because of welfare, that is why you see brain drain, no. It is not correct. Even professors in the university in the various faculties of law, faculties of engineering most of them leave because the tools to work are not there.

“But you are lucky you (RSUTH staff) have the tools here. So, clap for us first that we have provided the basic things. Today, you’re lucky, you’re working in a teaching hospital where you can find the equipment, at least, to make your job easier for you. So, it is not as bad as where the equipment are not there.”

Governor Wike reiterated that it was out of grateful heart that he thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the release of 13% derivative fund arrears, from 1999 to date, that was never paid by previous administration to States in Niger Delta.

He wondered why saying thank you is an offense and a particular governor feels offended over the thank you said to President Buhari over the release.

The said governor, according to governor Wike had gone in national television to say that money spent to do a 3km road in his State would be used to construct more than 15 flyovers elsewhere.

“Simply because I said you people should thank President Muhammadu Buhari for releasing 13 percent arrears to us. I did not abuse anybody. Did I? All I said is please thank him, that if he did not release this arrears to me and some of our states, it may have been difficult for me to even talk about building a Renal Centre, Cancer and Cardiovascular centre, Basic and Clinical Sciences faculty, House officers quarters. I don’t think saying thank you is an offence.

“On television, I heard one of the governors said in his state to do 3 kilometre road will do more than 15 flyovers. Rivers State, is it not Niger Delta State? Don’t we have riverine areas in Rivers State? Amayanabo of Opobo said since he was born, he has never driven by road to Opobo.

“The day he drive by road to Opobo, he said, God is it possible that in my own time I will not go through the river again, I am now driving by road to Opobo. That is a major riverine area. By the grace of God this December (2022) we are going to commission the first phase of Trans-Kalabari Road. That is a major riverine area.

Speaking further, governor said, “I didn’t know that people are sick about the flyovers I do. Okay, sorry. I don’t want you to be sick again. I won’t do again. Instead of you to appreciate and ask somebody how are you doing this, and justify what you’re doing.

“I have turned the state capital around using a major construction firm like Julius Berger Nigeria PLC. If you know you have the capacity, if you know you have what it takes go and take Julius Berger and see whether you can pay salary.”

Governor Wike pointed to how determined he was in creating the space for medical education that led to the establishment of medical college at the Rivers State University (RSU), which hitherto was not in existence before he assumed office.

“To tell you it is not just flyovers, look at the health sector alone. As at the time we came, this State had no medical college, only the University of Port Harcourt had, and you see how competitive being a federal university. How many of our people get admission to read medicine and other related courses.”

About a 100 students of Rivers origin, he informed, at the PAMO university of medical sciences are also placed on State government scholarship, and who upon graduation, are to gain automatic employment into government establishment.

Governor Wike said while equipment are provided, and medical facilities upgraded, the manpower gap is also being filled.

The governor maintained that the current congestion that is experienced at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH) is being addressed.

He explained that in the coming days, the Gynecology department will move to the Mother and Child Hospital and other departments moving to their dedicated facilities like the Maxillofacial and Kersely Harrison Hospital.

Speaking on the projects, Governor Wike urged Nigerians to seek medical assistance from the Renal/dialysis Centre because it has the best equipment and personnel to offer requisite services.

There is already an ongoing arrangement, governor Wike hinted, towards an effective management of the centre to ensure sustainability.

Governor Wike also advise the house officers to imbibe maintenance culture so that they can always keep the quarters clean and maintain the structure.

In his speech, Chief Medical Director of Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Friday Aaron said the two projects inaugurated are signature of the genuine love of governor Wike for the State.

Dr. Aaron recalled that the Nigerian Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) was already constructing a Renal Dialysis Unit and governor Wike noticed that if allowed in its form, will be limited in the service it will offer.

The CMD said governor Wike directed an expansion of the unit into a world class centre that will diagnose renal cases, perform dialysis and do transplant of kidney. This, he said is because the governor believes that Rivers people deserve the best.

In his address, commissioner for health, Prof. Princewill Chike said the Renal Centre is one of the best in Nigeria that has been provided by governor Wike for his love for the health sector.

The centre, he pointed out, is a one storey building that has lift that can take 13 person per time.

According to him, there are also doctors and nurses call rooms, water treatment unit, and a 6bed space dialysis area.

Prof. Chike also informed that on the first floor, there are two theatres, one is for where kidney donor and recipient are kept, with equipment to ensure the marching of the kidney.

He said the second theatre is where the transplanting of the kidney is done and the situation properly monitored.

Prof. Chike said there is 100kv standby generating set and 30kva inverter with 6 solar plates to ensure regular power supply.

The chairman, Nigeria Medical Association, Dr. Ebi Robinson commended governor Wike for building the Renal centre and equipping it with latest state of the art medical equipment that will enhance the productivity of doctors in the hospital.

Below are some more photos.

 

Fuel Queues: NNPC Breaks Silence, Blames Situation On Road Projects

Fuel queues surfaced in Lagos on Tuesday, February 8, 2022.
Fuel queues have surfaced in Lagos

 

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) has blamed the fuel queues in Lagos State and Abuja on some construction projects going on in the state. 

NNPC’s Executive Vice President, Downstream, Mister Adeyemi Adetunju, gave this explanation while addressing a news conference in Abuja on Tuesday.

“The recent queues in Lagos are largely due to ongoing road infrastructure projects around Apapa and access road challenges in some parts of Lagos depots,” he said. “The gridlock is easing out and NNPC has programmed vessels and trucks to unconstrained depots and massive load outs from depots to various states are closely being monitored.”

“Abuja is impacted by the challenges recorded in Lagos. NNPC Retail and key marketers have intensified dedicated loading into Abuja to restore normalcy as soon as possible.”

READ ALSO: NNPC Has Fuel In Stock, Dollar Scarcity Behind Price Hike – IPMAN, Esele

But he assured Nigerians that efforts are ongoing to ensure that normalcy returns as soon as possible.

“We want to reassure all Nigerians that NNPC has sufficient products, and we significantly increased product loading including 24-hour operations in selected depots and extended hours at strategic stations to ensure products sufficiency nationwide,” he assured.

“We are also working with the NMDPRA, MOMAN, DAPPMAN, IPMAN, NARTO, PTD, and other industry stakeholders to ensure normalcy is returned.”

The NNPC, he added, has a “national PMS stock of over 2 billion litres. This is equivalent to over 30 days of sufficiency”.

Fuel scarcity is recurrent in Nigeria, one of the largest producers of crude oil globally. The most recent queues in several parts of the country have left many commuters stranded. Others have resorted to buying the product from black marketers who have cashed in on the situation to sell at exorbitant prices.

The government has said payment of subsidy for fuel is unstainable and has planned its removal for next year, a move that is sure to face pushbacks.

Amaechi Built Five Flyovers, Rivers APC Replies Wike

A photo collage of Nyesom Wike (L) and Rotimi Amaechi (R)

 

The All Progressives Congress (APC), Rivers State chapter on Saturday, listed the achievements of former Governor Rotimi Amaechi whilst in office between 2007 and 2015. 

Governor Nyesom Wike had earlier today criticised his predecessor over the delivery projects in the oil-rich South-South state.

Wike, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), alleged that Amaechi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) failed to construct roads and flyovers in the state.

The incumbent governor also said he built the road leading to the residence of the former Minister of Transportation.

However, in its response hour later, the APC in Rivers said Amaechi won’t engage in any media exchanges with Wike.

Read full statement:

APC RESPONSE TO GOV WIKE’S LATEST ATTACK ON AMAECHI

Nigerians no longer take seriously most of the comments that come out of the Governor of Rivers State and being our leader’s former staff, there is no way Rt Hon Chibuike Amaechi can engage in any media exchanges with the Governor.

However, it is important to set the records straight by confirming that the former Governor of Rivers State had to the credit of his administration, the following fly-over projects:

1. Agip fly-over
2. Eliozu flyover
3. Obiri Ikwere flyover
4. Eleme flyover, and
5. Woji flyover

These projects like others under his administration were done with utmost regard for due process as they went through competitive bidding processes with premium standards delivered in the best interest of Rivers people.

It is also important to state that while the Chibuike Amaechi administration had an IGR of between #1.5-#1.9billion naira monthly to work with, the Wike administration gets between #10billion – #15billion monthly in Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) monthly. Again, while the later years of the Amaechi administration saw a barrage of attacks from the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Wike administration is enjoying the highest form of cooperation from the centre as #83billion was refunded the Rivers State Government for federal projects executed by the Amaechi administration, and this approval was graciously extended by the Buhari administration while Amaechi sat in Council as Minister of Transport.

Without struggling to always sound politically correct like Governor Wike, we can beat our chest to say that our leader and former Governor of Rivers State did so much for Rivers State as 12,200 teachers were employed, 400 doctors enoloyed, pharmacists and nurses were all employed without clannish, tribal or political sentiments unlike what recently happened at the Rivers State University were only persons from Governor Wike’s community were given employment opportunities against the Oath of Allegiance the Governor swore to be fair to all manner of men.

The model secondary and primary schools built by the Amaechi adminstration was sited across the 319 political wards of Rivers State, and the Ubima community where the former Governor comes from, also benefitted. There is also a Naval War College at Ubima. Development of communities or improving the lives of the rural people is not limited to the construction of over-invoiced and poor quality roads without drainages.

We do know that posterity is the judge of all men.

Signed:
DARLINGTON NWAUJU
Rivers State APC Spokesperson
26/11/2022

G5: Be Neutral, PDP Cautions Ariwoola

Justice Olukayode Ariwoola

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has cautioned the Chief Justice Of Nigeria (CJN), Olukayode Ariwoola to be neutral and not to dabble in the internal politics of the party.

The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, in a statement on Saturday, flayed the CJN over his comment on the politics of the party.

Ariwoola had allegedly made some comments on the G5 and Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State on Thursday at a dinner held in his honour by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State in Port Harcourt.

The G5 is made up of five aggrieved governors of the PDP calling for the resignation of the party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu as a precondition to support the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar. The G5 wants Ayu to step down over what they described as northern dominance within the party.

Aside from Wike and Makinde, other members of the G5 are Governors Samuel Ortom (Benue), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu).

READ ALSO: INEC Releases Guidelines, Bans Campaigns In Churches, Mosques

However, the PDP said, “By delving into the internal affairs of the PDP at a public event in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Thursday, November 24, 2022 where he was reported to have made reference to the political activities of some PDP governors, which comment is viewed to be encouraging division in our Party, the PDP posits that the CJN’s action is unacceptable and inconsistent with his status as the head of the Judicial arm of government.

“Irrespective of the circumstance or situation, the CJN is expected to be circumspect at all times and avoid partisan actions and utterances that are likely to erode the institutional integrity of the Judiciary and bring it to disrepute especially as the nation prepares for the 2023 general elections.

“In a Federal Republic such as Nigeria, with a Constitutional Separation of Powers, the Judiciary is entrusted with the responsibility of interpretation of the laws and as such should be seen to be neutral at all times and endeavour to interpret and review the laws in the context of the case and controversy of the parties before it.”

PDP Not For One Part Of Nigeria – Ayu

A file photo of the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu.

 

Amid the crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu has said the PDP is not for only one section of Nigeria but the whole country.

He stated this on Thursday when he addressed a large crowd of supporters of the party at the Ilorin Metropolitan Square In Kwara State during the presidential campaign for Atiku Abubakar.

“Let me tell you that PDP is one big united family which includes all the whole of Kwara State. We are on our way back to victory.

“PDP has come back to rescue this country and put it back on the path of development for every family, for every young man, for every old person.

“We are a party for all; we are not a party for only one part of the country. That is why we selected a unifier, somebody who will bring everybody on board and make sure that we rebuild this country.”

Five governors of the party led by Nyesom Wike of Rivers have demanded Ayu’s removal as a precondition to support the 2023 presidential ambition of Atiku but the Benue-born politician has insisted that he won’t step down till the end of his four-year term.

READ ALSO: PDP G5 Storms Umuahia Stadium For Abia Campaign Flag-Off

At the rally on Thursday include Atiku, his running mate, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State; as well as Governors Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto) and Godwin Obaseki (Edo).

Others include former Senate President Bukola Saraki; former Vice President Namadi Sambo; former governors of Niger, Kogi and Kwara states, Babangida Aliyu, Ibrahim Idris and Abdulfatah Ahmed; as well as one of the spokesmen for Atiku campaign, Dino Melaye.

The stadium was packed full with supporters of the party carrying banners and posters of the PDP presidential candidate.

Until 2019, Kwara was under the control of the PDP since 2003.

Rivers Govt Threatens To Seal Accord Party Secretariat In Port Harcourt

Governor Nyesom Wike

 

The Rivers State Government has threatened to seal off the party secretariat of Accord in Port Harcourt, the state capital, over an alleged change of the use of the property from residential to semi-public.

The State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development in a notice addressed to the party chairman in Rivers ordered the party to revert to the original use of the property or risked being sealed off.

In the notice signed by the State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Austin Ben-Chioma, the government noted that the alleged change of the use or purpose of the property located on No 5 Ndoni Street in the GRA axis of Port Harcourt without permit from the ministry violates Article 43 of the Land Use Regulation 2010 of the Rivers State Official Gazette No. 1 Volume 48 of 25th January, 2012 and the Executive Order 22 of 2022.

READ ALSO: Wike Absent As South-South PDP Govs Back Atiku-Okowa Candidacy 

The government further noted that the unilateral change of use of the building is constituting nuisance to residents and order users in the area.

The ministry, therefore, ordered the party to revert to the original use of the property within seven days or risked being sealed off.

Meanwhile, the party is yet to respond to the notice.

When contacted, a member of the Media Sub-Committee of the Accord Campaign Council in Rivers said the party has received the notice and will respond in due course.

2023: Enemies Of Progress Frustrating PDP’s Quest For Presidency – G5

 

The five governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), known as the ‘Integrity Group’ have again in Abia State blamed some people that they called enemies of progress of frustrating the party’s chances of winning the 2023 presidential election.

On Wednesday’s night, the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike led the governors of Benue, Samuel Ortom, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) and Seyi Makinde (Oyo) to Abia State ahead of the flag-off of campaign of the State’s chapter of the PDP.

They were received on arrival by Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, Abia State Governor, who after the welcome formalities, organised a gala night event for them in his country home, Umuobiakwa.

He treated them to delectable rich cultural performances, music rendition, dances, and comedy. The Integrity Governors also had their session and danced.

Traditional Rulers of Obiakwa, led by the Chairman, Abia State Council of Traditional Rulers, HRM Eze Joseph Ndubuisi Nwabeke made special presentation to the five governors. Some of the items included traditional wrappers, warrior matchet plus prayers said on them.


READ ALSO: PDP G5 Storms Umuahia Stadium For Abia Campaign Flag-Off


Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, Dr. Samuel Ortom, reiterated that they are committed members of the PDP.

He stressed that as governors of States controlled by the PDP, they are working assiduously while deploying political strategies, to make sure that the party is delivered in their States during the 2023 election.

“All our States from Abia to Rivers, to Oyo to Enugu, to Benue, all of us are PDP States, and we are very strong in all these States, and we are committed to our party.

“We have teamed together to build this party to make it very strong and our intention was that we will take over governance in 2023 and build Nigeria again from bottom to top.”

Governor Ortom noted the enormous encouragement, support and leadership that governor Wike has provided the group in its battle against forces that are frustrating the PDP from winning the 2023 election.

He said, the five governors are men of integrity who believe in equity, fairness and justice will never succumb to any intimidation.

“One notable person that has made this party what it is, is governor Wike. Since he joined PDP, he has never left PDP.

“In 2015, when I was denied the ticket, l left, went to APC and grab the governor, came back to PDP, because PDP is home.

“So, we appreciate PDP. It is the platform we are working for in our various States. We are not going to be intimated. We appreciate the traditional rulers. You charged us not to be intimidated but stand for the truth. That is what we stand for.”

Governor Ortom expressed regret that some of those who were part of the accord on the demand that the next Nigeria’s president should be a southerner eventually “chickened out”.

“Unfortunately, enemies of progress came in. Because one thing that we believed as men of integrity, as men who believed in equity, fairness and justice was our resolve.

“All of us and many others who chickened out, especially from the South resolved that after eight years of rule in the North, we all know that in the unwritten constitution of this country, that it was only right for the sake of justice and equity that presidency should come from the South. And that is what we have stood for.”

Ortom said further, “Unfortunately, we have found ourselves where we are. But, we told ourselves, we are not going to leave the PDP. You cannot build a house and when a snake creeps into your house, do you abandon that house and run away to go and build another one?”

In his welcome address, the Abia State governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu informed that the Integrity Governors think, operate and execute their strategies and programmes in one accord.

He noted that beyond, their States, which they support mutually ahead of the 2023 elections, they are beefing up firm support for the PDP in Cross River where the moral tenets of equity, fairness and justice are deeply rooted.

“We have come under serious attack and very serious propaganda from all quarters but we are undeterred. We are determined to stand firm for the truth and soon, as the needful is done, I assure you that all of us will work assiduously to make sure that PDP wins election in 2023.”

Dr. Ikpeazu asserted that Nigeria is in dire strait and the Integrity Governors understand what should be done, which is why they are putting the right feet forward with a conviction that the country must be rescued.

“What we are preaching is not about our individual comfort but rather for you to see that we are saying the truth, laying a solid foundation for Nigerians today, and for our children in the future.

“I am an incurable optimist and I believe that soon, the voice of reason will sound in the ears of those who are yet to realize and see the wisdom behind our position and the things we are saying.”

PDP G5 Storms Umuahia Stadium For Abia Campaign Flag-Off

 G5 storms Abia State for PDP campaign flag-off. Credit: Facebook/Rivers State Government

 

Five aggrieved governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday, stormed the Umuahia Township Stadium for the 2023 campaign flag-off of the party in the state.

Known as the G5 or the Integrity Group, the five governed were clad in Isiagu clothes and caps with bold imprints of the photo of PDP governorship candidate in Abia, Uche Ikonne.

The G5 members include Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), and their host, Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia).

The five governors have demanded the resignation of Iyorchia Ayu as a precondition to support the presidential ambition of Atiku Abubakar in the 2023 elections.

See photos:

 

Edo Got N2.1bn Out Of N28bn Oil Derivation Backlog – Govt 

A file photo of Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki.

 

The Edo State Government has insisted that it received only N2.1 billion out of the expected N28 billion which is its share from the 13% oil derivation paid by the Federal Government to oil-producing state in the country.

The state’s Commissioner for Finance, Joseph Eboigbe, who addressed journalists in Benin City, the Edo State capital, explained that funds are to be spread over five years in 20 instalments, noting that Edo State has received three tranches of N700 million so far.

READ ALSO: Ogoni Oil Spillage Worrisome, Kolmani Must Not Be Contaminated – Lawan

The reaction is coming on the heels of the comments by Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, alleging that the oil-producing states have refused to disclose their share of the 13% derivative received from the Federal Government.

“I am not an Apostle of Buhari; he is not my friend but I have no regret to appreciate him for paying the money meant for the Niger Delta states. He has paid. Let everybody come and account for it,” Wike had said.

PDP Crisis: Wike’s Non-Support Won’t Affect Atiku’s Chances, Says Bwala

The spokesman of the Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) Daniel Bwala believes Governor Nyesom Wike’s non-support won’t affect the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s chances of winning next year’s election.

Governor Wike and his allies better known as the G5 are at loggerheads with the leadership of the main opposition party since the presidential primary. The former minister lost to Atiku Abubakar in the exercise but claims the election was not fair and is insisting on the resignation of the PDP national chairman Iyorchia Ayu. The group has also pulled out of the party’s presidential campaign, maintaining that Atiku and the PDP chief are from the same region of the country.

But Bwala has downplayed the move, saying the party is poised to win next year’s presidential election.

READ ALSO: Tinubu Needs Rivers Votes, Not Logistics Support, Umahi Woos Wike

“Our party is poised to win the election. Wike’s non-participation would affect a little bit of the margin. So, if we are supposed to win with nine million votes or eight million votes, that may reduce to six million votes or something like that,” he said on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday.

“But this victory is destined by God and I can tell you that there can be conspiracy and collaboration or anything. We know the Electoral Amendment Act and what it brings. We saw it in Osun where some members of our party even worked against the party in that state.

“But what happened? The ‘Dancing Senator’ (Ademola Adeleke) danced his way to victory because the people spoke and their voices were held. This is how we are going to be looking at this election because the bigger picture is what we are looking at. Have you not seen the multi-dimensional poverty index?”

Bwala also claimed that the Rivers State Governor “chased” the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate Peter Obi, Governor Dave Umahi, and others out of the PDP. He, however, maintained that the Atiku is committed to uniting Nigeria despite the crisis in the party.

Atiku Rejected Jonathan’s Pleas In 2015, Refused To Support Him – Wike

 

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State on Tuesday said then President Goodluck Jonathan pleaded with former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar to support his re-election bid in 2015 but the Adamawa-born politician rejected the entreaties of the former Bayelsa governor.

Wike stated this when Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State commissioned the Akpabu-Itu-Umudiogha road in the Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers.

According to him, Jonathan travelled to the Dorchester Hotel in London in 2015 to meet Atiku but rather, the former VP “embarrassed” Jonathan and told him to relinquish his ticket to him.

Wike, who contested the presidential primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won by Atiku in May, said he is not asking Atiku to step down as the  party’s presidential candidate for the 2023 elections. He said, instead, Atiku should ensure the removal of Iyorchia Ayu as PDP national chairman for a southern replacement.

The Rivers governor said, “We forget history. In 2015 when Jonathan as a sitting President, I am not talking as a presidential candidate but as a sitting President, when he had won his primary, Jonathan went to London to Dorchester Hotel, he went to plead with Atiku Abubakar to come back to the party and support him.

“You know the condition he (Atiku) gave Jonathan? He should relinquish his ticket not to run as the President of Nigeria. That was the presidential candidate of a ruling party. He gave him a condition, telling him to relinquish that ticket.

“Today, we are not saying the presidential candidate should relinquish his ticket; we are not being selfish, we are saying since you are now the presidential candidate, let our people take chairmanship.”

READ ALSO: Tinubu Needs Rivers Votes, Not Logistics Support, Umahi Woos Wike

Jonathan, the PDP presidential candidate in 2015, had lost his re-election to Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Atiku and his running mate, Ifeanyi Okowa, had visited Jonathan at his Abuja residence on November 17 to resolve the crisis within the PDP but nothing has been heard of the former President.

With the 2023 presidential poll about three months, there are fears that the intra-party squabbles between Wike and Atiku over the chairmanship of Ayu would affect the chances of the Adamawa-born politician at the polls next February.

Wike and four other PDP governors known as the G5 or the Integrity Group want Benue-born Ayu to step down for a southerner over what they called the dominance of the north within the party.