2023: I won’t support Jonathan if he runs on APC ticket – Wike

…Says God used him to make Amaechi governor

….Ungrateful Wike can’t stop Jonathan, says ex-President’s kinsman

Former President Goodluck Jonathan should not expect the support of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State should he (Jonathan) agree to contest the 2023 presidential election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Wike, who served as Minister of State for Education in the Jonathan Administration, said there was no way he could work against the interest of his party, PDP.

Jonathan is a member of the PDP but speculations have been growing about the possibility of his defection to APC to contest the next presidential election.

The governor, who spoke on the Pidgin Service of BBC, also said he was instrumental to the emergence of Chief Rotimi Amaechi as governor of the State in 2007.

Wike said: “I am a PDP member. If former President Goodluck Jonathan picks the ticket to run in my party, I will support him. I can’t do anti-party.

“But if he picks the ticket to run in APC, I won’t support him because I can’t do anti-party.

“He knows I won’t support him in APC even if he is from the south.

“I don’t do that kind of politics. It is party we are talking about, and I don’t play ethnicity.”

Wike mocked Transportation Minister Amaechi for calling him his employee saying that he would not have governed the state if God had not used him (Wike) to make him governor in 2007.

In another vein, he said he was “not close to Amaechi.”

His words: “We were just in the same party, and in politics, everybody has ambition. He has his own. I don’t regret that as at that time, we preferred him to be governor.”

He said Amaechi had forgotten when he said in a church that after God in his life, the second person was he (Wike), adding that he was at liberty to choose any position in Amaechi’s government because of his contributions.

“Now he’s in APC, and you don’t expect me as a PDP person to support what he does.

“I was the one God used to make Amaechi governor. I will even give you a tape from what he said in the church; that after God, I’m next. But when he was talking the other day, saying I was his staff, his employee, I said no problem.

“We all sat to make you governor, and I was the one who championed it. How do you call someone who made you governor an employee? When he became governor, he asked me: how are we going to run this government, and he offered me to be commissioner of finance, but I said no, let me be in the chief of staff office.

“That time I made him governor, I had power to choose. People know in this state.

“With his APC, did they even score 25 percent here during the 2015 and 2019 elections? His staff stopped him from winning Rivers for his presidential candidate? Not even a senatorial seat?

On the zoning of the PDP presidential ticket for the 2023 election, Wike said if zoning the party’s ticket to the north is the only factor that can make the PDP victorious, he would readily support the move.

He said: “I am from southern part of Nigeria. I will be happy if power returns to the South. But if PDP will win the 2023 presidential election by zoning the presidential ticket to the North, I will not be opposed to it. ”

Asked whether he would defect to the APC sometime in future, he said: “Defect to where? I have malaria, is it cancer that I am looking for? I have malaria that is easy to treat, now you want me to go and get cancer that will kill me immediately.

“Is it APC, a party that has killed Nigeria? I will stay in PDP and fight. If they win me no problem and if I win them, so be it. But I know they won’t win me. But to leave PDP that has malaria to APC, no way. The stage of the cancer in APC is fourth stage where doctors always say is hard to recover. Once they say is the fourth stage, call God and say it has happened.”

On whether he is corrupt, the governor said: “I cannot say I am corrupt. But I will say I am not a perfect person. If you say I like money yes. If I don’t have money, how can I pay my children’s school fees and treat my sick mother. Those who say they don’t like money are lying.”

Below is an abridged version of the BBC interview:
Are you saying that we should expect you would defect from PDP?

Defect to where? I have malaria, is it cancer that I am looking for? I have malaria that is easy to treat, now you want me to go and get cancer that will kill me immediately.

Is it APC, a party that has killed Nigeria? I will stay in PDP and fight. If they win me, no problem, and if I win them, so be it. But I know they won’t win me. But to leave PDP that has malaria to APC, no way. The stage of the cancer in APC is fourth stage where doctors always say is hard to recover. Once they say it is the fourth stage, call God and say it has happened.

Are you corrupt?

I cannot say I am corrupt. But I will say I am not a perfect person. If you say I like money, yes. If I don’t have money, how can I pay my children’s school fees and treat my sick mother? Those who say they don’t like money are lying.

Talking about the Presidency coming to the South, people have been talking about former President Goodluck Jonathan. If he picks ticket, will you support him?

When they say pick ticket, which of the party is he picking the ticket? Is it APC or PDP? When you say ticket, it means you are ready to run on a platform of a party. For me, I am in PDP.

Okay let’s start with your party

Is that one a question? Will I go and do anti-party?

What if he comes from the other party, say the APC?

He knows I won’t support him. I can’t do anti-party.

But he is from the South

No, I don’t play that type of politics. We are talking about party. I don’t play ethnicity.

What is your relationship with the former Governor of Rivers State and Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi? Two of you used to be close.

I was not close to Amaechi, we were just in the same party and in politics everybody has ambition. He has his own. I don’t regret that as at that time, we preferred him to be governor.

We fought it and God crowned our efforts and he became a governor. He is in APC and I am in PDP. So don’t expect me to support what he is doing in APC. He said I was his employee. What he said was not good. God used me to make him the governor.

I will give you a tape where Amaechi spoke in Church saying after God, I came next. But when he spoke the other day, he said I was his staff, his employee. No problem but an employee that dealt with him here.

In 2015 to 2019 Buhari did not have 20 per cent here, that is his employee. Your employee stopped you from giving the president 25 per cent. Your staff stopped you from winning governorship election and stopped you from having one Senator.

He said I would only be governor over his dead body. But up until now I am still looking for that dead body. I have won everything. I told him he won’t have a candidate and he didn’t have. I told him he won’t have a senator and an assembly member and he didn’t have, even House of Representative member he didn’t have. How can an employee defeat you like that?

But you have also said some things against Amaechi. Recently you spoke about him being corrupt.

I was not the one who said it. A panel of inquiry indicted him. He went to court and lost. He went to the Court of Appeal and lost again. So, i was not the one who talked. But let us say the truth. Did he not sell our gas turbine for $308m? The money was paid in Access Bank in December 2014.

Is there evidence to …

What is evidence? The bank statement is there and you are talking about evidence. Was it not Sahara Energy? $308million was paid into Access Bank account. As at December 8, 2014, the money was paid into Access Bank account. I came in 29th May 2015. What they left for us was $208,000. See our monorail. How many kilometres? About 1.5km and we spent N64bn. If you are from Rivers State are you not going to cry.

We all sat down and say we should support you for governor. I was the once who championed it. God used me to make you a governor. If I open my mouth to talk to Nigerians how Amaechi became a governor, who did not know? So, why will he say I was his employee? Someone that made you a governor? I asked him how would we run this government and he said I would be commissioner of finance. I declined and told him I would want to be the chief of staff. So, how did I become his employee? The time I made you governor, I had the power to choose what I wanted.

Ungrateful Wike can’t stop Jonathan, says kinsman

A public commentator and kinsman of Dr. Jonathan from Ogbia Local Government Area, Wisdom Ikuli, accused Wike of displaying the highest level of ingratitude with his statement.

Ikuli said Wike lacked the capacity to stop Nigerians if they decided to return Jonathan to power in 2023 on the platform of any party including the APC.

Ikuli said: “In as much as I commend Governor Wike for the great work he is doing in Rivers State in terms of developmental projects, his utterances are becoming unlike a state executive governor

“The way he arrogates to himself the power of a contemporary emperor is unbecoming. Having said that, we should realise that governor Wike is just one person out of the 250 million Nigerians.

“Today over 75 per cent of Nigeria’s having seen what Goodluck Jonathan did during his presidency have realised that if he is not the best president he one of the best that has ruled the country.

“Despite what happened, during Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency, there was no ethnic group or section of this country that clamoured to secede or disintegrate because the country was not threatened.

“Who is Wike? Wike is just one person. He has just one vote. I am talking about 250 million citizens and over 75 per cent of the citizens of voting age are clamouring that Goodluck Jonathan must come back.

“Wike is the greatest ungrateful person. Who was Wike? Goodluck Jonathan brought Wike from nowhere and made him a minister of education and against all odds he became a governor.

“The riverine people were clamouring to govern Rivers state at that time. When you look at democratically in terms of population the riverine is more than the upland in number. It is ijaw people that made Wike governor.”

© The Nation

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