The governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, on Sunday declared interest in contesting the position of the President of Nigeria in the 2023 general election.
He made the declaration in Benue State while calling on national delegates of the Peoples Democratic Party not to sell their votes to any other aspirant.
Addressing the party delegates at the Government House, Makurdi, Wike said that most of the presidential aspirants from the party were responsible for its defeat in 2015.
In what appeared to be a subtle jab on the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and ex-Senate President Bukola Saraki, Wike added that some of the presidential aspirants on the platform of the party left the party when it mattered most.
He said, “Let these people who are interested in presidency in the PDP tell us their contributions. You claimed to be one of the founding fathers of the party, but you left and came back; you have become an ordinary person in the new PDP.
“If you form a company and run away because the company is not doing well, then you come back and found that it is now doing well, will you want to come and take over?
He further said, “Some people want to use Nigeria to get back their private businesses. Let them mention their private sector that survived. Is it bank that your father had?
“Everybody is an employer of labour; even me I have 50 people in my house. So everybody has been employing people according to his capacity.
“In 2015, most of these people made us (PDP) to lose the election.”
Wike said he had stood firm for the party through thick and thin, adding that he had contributed immensely to the growth of the party.
“I have spoken truth to power. I don’t have problem with anybody but have to tell them the truth. Umahi and others abused me because I told him that you cannot take our mandate away.”
He added, “As a governor, I have performed well. I can go anywhere with my shoulder high. How many of them have challenged this government (APC)?
Wike made a passionate appeal to Benue people to vote for him during the coming party primary, saying, “Don’t sell your vote, please give me your vote as we go to primary.
“If I become president, we will take security as priority because the main purpose of government is protection of lives and property.”
The host governor, Samuel Ortom, who commended the contributions of his River State counterpart to Benue State and towards the displaced persons, said that the people of the state would support his aspiration.
“Periodically, you have been helping us, particularly during the 2018 crisis in the state. We will support your aspiration because you have sown seed and you need to reap,” he said.
Ortom maintained that he had been a vanguard on the southern presidency, adding, “on southern presidency I stand.”
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