Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared that the 2023 governorship ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is opened to every member of the party including new members.
He also stated that his successor would not be picked by fiat against the popular wish of PDP.
Governor Wike made the declaration on Thursday in Port Harcourt while receiving the Spokesperson of the Rivers State All Progressives Congress (APC), Ogbonna Nwuke, who led hundreds of others to join PDP.
The governor also welcomed other defectors from the African Action Congress (AAC) and other opposition parties in the state back to the PDP.
Wike, speaking at a reception rally for the returnees, assured PDP faithful that everybody, including newly readmitted returnees, is entitled to seek the party’s 2023 governorship ticket.
The Governor who termed the event “last mop up of the remnants of the APC and all other parties” in Rivers, also declared that PDP retention of Rivers governorship was unassailable based on how much the party has been able to fulfill its promises to the Rivers people under his administration.
He said, “We’ve not chosen who will be our guber candidate. Everybody will be responsible. Leaders must meet, and look at ourselves eyeball to eyeball and tell ourselves, why it should be you or why it should not be you.
“Everybody must participate, then we will take a decision. It can be those who are just coming now. You never can tell. Nobody can say because you came in yesterday, you came today, you are not entitled. Everybody is entitled as far as you are PDP.”
To the defectors from other parties, he said, “Those who have returned to the PDP knew they were being deceived by those who were leading where they were before, but they chose to continue to be deceived till that time they could no longer take the deception.
“It is not whether you support me or not, but for us to do the right thing, to bring dividends of democracy to our people. As I stand here, I can point to projects we have carried out across every local government area.
“No one project awarded by this administration will remain abandoned before we leave and another PDP Governor will take over. God has already sealed it. Let no one bother himself. PDP will take over Rivers again.
“Why would will take over? We have made promises to the people and we have fulfilled those promises. Six years, ten flyers, a record and not done by portfolio contractors, but by Julius Berger, by every standard the best in the country today.
“APC has failed Nigeria. Let Rivers APC tell us what federal government has done for the people of Rivers state. They’ve been abusing before. I thank God their Spokesperson, Nwuke has left them. Lies upon lies upon lies.
“We are fighting hard. God willing, PDP would take over Nigeria 2023. It is not wishful thinking. It’s a question of being committed. We are going to do it. All the governors have agreed. PDP will never be divided.”
The former APC Spokesman, Nwoke, stood out from the crowd among the defectors as he was seen as the most influential among the APC faction loyal to the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.
Nwuke, told Governor Wike that he was returning to the PDP he once belong because the APC in the last six years has failed to bring the change it promised to his Etche ethnic nationality and returning to the PDP “might just be the best thing to do”.
Others returnees readmitted to the PDP include, former Chairman, Rivers Civil Service Commission Ngo Martins-Yellow, former Works Commissioner, Levy Braide, as well as Dademu Akpanah and Emma Deeya, both former Reps members.