Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, says he will not campaign for Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Wike was speaking on Monday during the inauguration of the Rivers PDP campaign council in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
According to Wike, Abubakar picked people from Rivers as members of the PDP presidential campaign council without any input from him.
Uche Secondus, former national chairman of the PDP, fell out with Wike in 2021 and was ousted from office but is currently in Atiku’s campaign team.
“The presidential candidate entered Rivers state and picked those he wants to pick without the contribution of the governor. So, they said they don’t need me to campaign for them. They don’t need Rivers people to campaign for them. Will you force yourself on them?” Wike said.
“I have never seen how people will disrespect a state like Rivers state and go and choose those who are enemies of the state, without the contribution from us.
“So, let’s campaign for those who have told us to campaign for them here in the state — the governorship candidate, the senatorial candidates and others.
“Politics is a game of interest. If nobody accommodates the interest of Rivers state, then we have nothing to do with such people. If you say that you have no interest in Rivers state, Rivers state will not have your own interest. It is only those who like us that we will like.
“I have told people who care. Rivers State has voted PDP since 1999. Of this support we have given since 1999 till now, can you mention one thing that we have gotten in this state? Can you mention one road that we have gotten? All they care about is to use Rivers state to bring votes. After votes, you push us aside. That will not happen again.”
Speaking to the PDP campaign council, the governor told the members to have a different mindset because the strategies to be adopted for the 2023 elections would differ from what they are used to.
Wike’s comments come amid crisis in the party over the call for Iyorchia Ayu to step down as PDP national chairman.