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General News of Tuesday, 3 January 2023


How Atiku, others frustrated PDP’s zoning - Wike

Nyesom Wike and Atiku Abubakar Nyesom Wike and Atiku Abubakar

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike yesterday alleged that Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Candidate Atiku Abubakar frustrated the opposition party’s zoning arrangement.

Wike, at the flag-off of the Akpabu- Odido Road in Emohua Local Government Area at Itu Bridge Head, lambasted persons accusing him and Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State of scuttling the micro-zoning of the presidential ticket of the PDP to Southeast.

He unequivocally told the people that their council chairman, Chidi Lloyd, would brief them on the presidential candidate to vote for.

The governor, who, however, advised the people to cast their votes for other PDP candidates for the general elections next month, said he had always been an advocate of zoning the presidency to the South, unlike Atiku and others.

His words: “I was one of those who led the campaign that the party’s chairmanship should go to the North because I believed the presidency should go to the South.

“I attended meetings of southern governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC), PDP and other parties from Delta to Lagos to Enugu states, where we agreed that presidency should come to the South.”

Wike recalled that while Southern cross-party consultations were going on, there were people in the PDP who were bent on frustrating the zoning of the presidential ticket to the South.

He said such persons could not turn around to blame him and Ortom.

He said: “I woke up this morning and read where they said, how Wike and Ortom frustrated PDP’s micro-zoning of the presidential ticket to South East. That was what the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku said.

“I keep on saying, they’ll be contradicting themselves, telling lies up and down, thinking that Nigerians don’t know. How can they say that I influenced Ortom, told him to allow it, and throw the ticket open?

“Nigerians know those who are opposed to the zoning of the party’s chairmanship first. And when the zoning committee was set up, this time, Atiku had gone to buy form to frustrate the recommendation of the zoning committee.”

Wike said their plot was hunting them because they were unfair to Nigerians.

“Yes, you don’t like Ortom, no problems. I know my own, you don’t like me, no problems. But I, my state gave you the highest support in 2019 both with logistics and by votes. You can’t deceive every Nigerian again. What I have stood for is equity, fairness, and justice.

“So, saying that I and Ortom frustrated PDP micro-zoning to South East is neither here nor there. They know that they don’t want the presidency to come to the South.”

On the road project, Wike expressed gratitude to God that the Odido community would get a modern road for the first time in their history during his administration.

The governor boasted that given the overwhelming joy expressed by the people, they would not cast their votes for state candidates of another party except the PDP.

In his address, Lloyd said the Odido community is an island that has never seen asphalted roads and is not linked to any neighboring community.