Ahead of the 2023 elections, the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has pledged to furnish the presidential candidate of Labour Party (LP) Peter Obi, with “all logistics supports” needed for his campaign in Rivers State.
Governor Wike disclosed this on Thursday in Port Harcourt during the commissioning ceremony of a flyover in the state.
“Each time you want to come to campaign in the state, let me know, all the logistics support we will give to you,” Mr Wike told Mr Obi who was in the state with his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed to commission the ninth flyover executed by Mr Wike’s administration.
The event was broadcast on Channels TV and was monitored by PREMIUM TIMES.
Mr Wike made the promise amidst Executive Orders he signed which has made access to campaign venues difficult for politicians within and outside the state, according to a report by Vanguard newspaper.
In an eulogy which was little short of endorsing Mr Obi for president, Mr Wike extolled Mr Obi’s “humility and sterling leadership qualities” and urged him to continue in preaching the unity of the country.
“As a person, you have all the characteristics to lead this country; nobody can deny that.
“All I pray for is for God to give you the strength and wisdom to continue to move from one step to the other,” Mr Wike said.
Messrs Wike and Obi were aspirants in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential primary, but Mr Obi later defected to the Labour Party where he secured the party’s presidential ticket.
Mr Wike contested the PDP primary but lost to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
Governor Wike at the event took a swipe at Atiku for promising to form a government of national unity if he wins the 2023 election.
“Some people said they will form a government of national unity. Start now to do, not to talk. If you cannot do for the small one, is it the big one?” the Rivers governor said, apparently referring to Atiku’s inability to put pressure on the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, to resign his position for a southerner.
Mr Wike and four other aggrieved PDP governors say there is a “regional imbalance” in the PDP since Messr Atiku and Ayu hail from northern Nigeria.
Atiku had said it was an anomaly for President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint 17 heads of security agencies from the north. He promised to correct it, if elected president in 2023.
“Today, we have 17 heads of various security agencies. All of them come from the North, I will not do that. I will make sure that every geopolitical zone is represented in the security outfit. This is also another way you can unify this country and give every part of the country a sense of belonging,” Atiku had said in a report by Channels TV.
He challenged Atiku to start with the “imbalance” in the PDP leadership.
“Presidency not a retirement home”
Mr Obi, in his remark, said whoever would come after Mr Wike would face a daunting task in the development of the state.
Mr Obi told the people of Rivers State that next year’s election would be based on capacity and ability to deliver.
“Wike is doing this job because he has the mental and physical energy,” Mr Obi said, adding that the presidency was not a “retirement home”.
“I assure you of my commitment to a better Nigeria. We would continue to work with the good people of Rivers State. Take me as one of yours, I belong to you,” Mr Obi said, urging the people of the state to support his presidential bid.
Mr Obi said people know the school he attended and who were his classmates.
“I have people in Rivers State that went to school with me. Some people, nobody knows who went to school with them,” Mr Obi said.
“Things must change,” he said.