Former Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido yesterday came under attack for casting aspersions on Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike over his insistence that Dr. Iyorchia Ayu must resign as national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Also, fear has gripped some governorship candidates over the unresolved crisis in their state chapters.
Lamido, who spoke on Politics Today, a Channels Television programme also dismissed Wike’s claim that he controls the votes of the electorate in the Southsouth state.
But reacting through a statement by Wike’s Special Assistant, Media, Kelvin Ebiri, the Rivers State government described Lamido as irrelevant in modern politics.
Ebiri, who reeled out figures from the last general elections in Jigawa, said the former governor lacked electoral value.
He said Lamido’s outbursts against Wike amidst ongoing reconciliation efforts had the trappings of someone plotting the downfall of the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.Saying that Lamido was cracking the walls of unity in the party, Ebiri said no right-thinking member of the PDP would dismiss Wike’s contributions to the party.
The statement reads: “Under Lamido’s watch, as a governor of Jigawa State in 2015, the APC governorship candidate, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, scored a total 648,045 votes to defeat his PDP opponent, Malam Aminu Ringim, who scored a total 479, 447 votes. Worst still, in 2019, governor Abubakar polled 810,933, while the PDP candidate scored 288,356.
“Such records depict that Alhaji Lamido cannot and does not have such political following that will benefit the PDP. Those who want electoral victory for the PDP are not dampening the morale required for political offensive at APC, but Alhaji Lamido is cracking the wall of unity badly.
“Let it be told that in 2015, governor Wike, as an opposition candidate in Rivers State polled 1,029,102 votes to defeat the then ruling APC governorship candidate, Dakuku Peterside, who managed to garner a paltry 124,896 votes. And in 2019, the governor also won by landslide. This are marks of political sagacity and determination to keep PDP at a leading pedestal.
“So, as the 2023 general elections beckons, we wish to advise Alhaji Lamido to redeem his battered political image by delivering Jigawa State to the PDP, if he can”.“While, we cannot deny that Alhaji Lamido has an inalienable right to his personal opinion, we wish to declare that he, however, lacks the right to malign governor Wike, whose immense contributions to the sustenance of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is not in dispute.
“It is rather appalling that at a time when concerted efforts are being made by lovers of true democracy and the unity of the party, to resolve some inherent contradictions plaguing the PDP, Alhaji Lamido and his cohorts, who have since lost their relevance in the polity, are busy creating friction and schism.
“Governor Wike, has never claimed to be custodian of the over 3 million votes in Rivers State. But as the leader of the PDP and good people of Rivers State, anyone who underates the governor’s political pedigree or dares to ignore his influence in the State and beyond, will be doing so at his own peril.
“We wish to remind Alhaji Lamido that governor Wike has never left anyone in doubt about his capacity to sway the voters in Rivers State in a direction that benefits the people and the State, in the overall. When he speaks, Rivers people will listen, no doubt.
“Perhaps, Alhaji Lamido thinks Nigerians are suffering from selective amnesia to have forgotten in a hurry, the role he and … played between 2014 and 2015 that culminated in the defeat of the PDP in 2015 general election.
“We hope that he is not up in such scheme again to cause a repeat of that history. Otherwise, Alhaji Lamido won’t be making disparaging comments about governor Wike, whom many have described as the pillar of the PDP since 2015.
“We wish to state without equivocation that no well-meaning member of the PDP will describe governor Wike as ‘insignificant’ in the affairs of the PDP.”