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Friday, February 3, 2023

2023: Wike, Dogara fight dirty over Atiku endorsement

The Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike and Former speaker of House of Represtatatives, Yakubu Dogara have engaged in verbal war over endorsement of Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate.

Recall that the former speaker recently dumped the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the PDP and endorsed Atiku as his preferred presidential candidate.

Reacting to the development on Monday, December 5, 2022, Wike who has been in cold war with the PDP flagberar asked him to restrain his men from insulting the group of five governors (G-5), known as the Integrity Group.

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The G-5 governors – Wike, Samuel Ortom (Benue), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) – are locked in a protracted feud with the party leadership over the refusal of the National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, to resign, contrary to his promise to quit if the presidential candidate was picked from the North.

They have insisted that Ayu’s resignation is a condition for supporting Atiku in next year’s election.

Yesterday, Makinde said the governors were yet to decide on which presidential candidate to support.

The G-5 governors were also absent at the PDP’s presidential rally in Lagos yesterday.

Wike said the G-5 would fight back if Atiku’s men continued to insult the Integrity Group.

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He spoke at the kick-off of Indorama-Agbonchia-Ogale-Ebubu-East/West Link Road in Eleme Local Government Area.

The governor said: “We need peace in this state and we would continue to keep the peace but nobody can take us for a ride. Rivers State cannot be a slave to anybody.

 

“What I want to tell the presidential candidate of the PDP is we need peace.

“We want all of us to be together for the party to win the general elections, but let me say clearly: if your boys continue to fight the leaders of our party, we would fight back.

“If anybody in the PDP presidential campaign council continues to insult the governors of the integrity group, we would fight back. Enough is enough.

“We want peace and we want equity, fairness and justice. Nobody should take us for granted.

“I cannot understand people who just left APC recently and are talking about PDP that we stayed and suffered to build. Even if anybody should talk about us, it is not these miscreants.”

The governor lambasted Dogara for allegedly backing Atiku against his earlier stance on Southern Presidency in 2023.

Wike said soon, he would reveal details of his discussion with Dogara and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal.

He said: “At the appropriate time I will talk about how Dogara and Babachir visited me and what we agreed.

“What I don’t like in life is people that don’t have character. I can’t stand it. At the appropriate time, I will challenge them for a debate.”

He recalled how Dogara had evaded an appointment they were to have and left the PDP to join the APC.

The governor lambasted Dogara for allegedly backing Atiku against his earlier stance on Southern Presidency in 2023.

Wike said soon, he would reveal details of his discussion with Dogara and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal.

He said: “At the appropriate time I will talk about how Dogara and Babachir visited me and what we agreed.

“What I don’t like in life is people that don’t have character. I can’t stand it. At the appropriate time, I will challenge them for a debate.”

He recalled how Dogara had evaded an appointment they were to have and left the PDP to join the APC.

In a tweet via his handle @YakubDogara, the former Speaker faulted Wike’s claims.

He stated: “To my brother, Governor Nyesom Wike; if there is anything you are suffering from, I never thought amnesia would be one of them.

“Why would you think no one, except you, is entitled to a certain set of principles he/she cannot compromise?

“It’s such a pity if you cannot remember what our discussion and agreement were all about.

“Why should only your own position be respected and followed? I would never betray a friend and a brother that is why I won’t respond to your tirade on live TV.

“The details of our conversation are sealed up with me but if you feel it’s okay to throw it to the public, kindly give me written consent to divulge it so that the public can judge who is saying the truth. Thank God there was a witness!”

Wike reiterated that Executive Order 21 was still in force in Rivers.

He said the order’s intent was misrepresented before the Inspector-General of Police.

According to him, political parties intending to hold their events within government facilities and schools should apply.

Wike said: “Nobody can stop anybody from rallying. There are people misinterpreting and misconstruing what we are saying.

“What we are saying is that if they want to use primary and secondary schools, apply, pay money for security so that when you destroy or mess up the place, the government can now come and clean up the place.

“We are not saying that you are not entitled to use the place for a rally. These people, I don’t know the type of school they went to, are telling lies. I am sure they misquoted the IG (Inspector General of Police).

“Some of them say they would disobey executive order numbers 21 and 22, I wish them good luck. Dare us and we would tell you we are in charge of Rivers state.”

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