Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike declared yesterday that the recent vote of confidence passed in the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Iyorchia Ayu, by the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) amounts to nothing.
Wike said the action of the PDP NEC would not save Ayu in any way.
He told the immediate past chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, and others said to have been jubilating over the move to save Ayu that they should not forget so soon what became of similar efforts in the past.
Wike, who has been insisting on the ouster of the PDP chairman, spoke on a day the Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organisation came short of confirming that Ayu would not yield to the demand for him to resign as a condition for reconciliation in the party.
Spokesman of the organisation, Mr Charles Aniagwu, said the PDP would be thrown into a constitutional crisis if Ayu were to leave now.
Also speaking on the PDP crisis, Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde said he did not see how the party could restructure Nigeria when it could not restructure itself.
Receiving defectors from the All Progressives Congress (APC) into the PDP in Port Harcourt yesterday, Wike said the vote of confidence passed in Ayu would not stop him (governor) and others from insisting that the prevailing structural imbalance in the party must be addressed.
He mocked Secondus, his strong ally before they parted ways, for reportedly jubilating over the NEC’s decision on Ayu, and reminded him that a similar vote of confidence did not save him (Secondus) from being removed as PDP chairman.
Wike said: “I was listening and watching; they said there is one man they call Secondus. They said he was dancing, celebrating that NEC gave their person vote of confidence.
“He forgets history. Ask him: the same NEC through Aliyu Babangida moved a vote of confidence supported by the same person, Ndudi Elumelu. They gave you (Secondus) a vote of confidence, what happened? You left office.
“We don’t fight and go back. If you like you can have as many as 20 votes of confidence, it’s not my business. My business is to make sure the right thing is done, and the right thing must be done whether today or tomorrow.”
Wike said despite the present challenge, he has not abandoned governance in the state.
His words: “I’m not going to play politics with the interest of my people. Rivers State is paramount to me first before any other person or group.
“So, the eyes can see what we have done. Up till today, we have never abandoned governance. So many people are already rounding off, taking the last they have, but we are still committed to commissioning and flagging off projects.
“Because of the love we have for our people, we will continue to serve you till May 29 when, by the grace of God, Siminialaye Fubara will be inaugurated the governor of Rivers State.”
Wike commended the defectors for their courage to rejoin their political family, saying there was no other political party that could win election in Rivers except the PDP.
He said: “PDP is a household name in Rivers State. Let me assure you that we will all work with you. (There is) nothing like somebody who has been there since and somebody who has just come back. The more the merrier.
“So, all of us must put hands together to make sure our governorship candidate, the National Assembly candidates, the House of Assembly candidates, at least from Rivers State, we return them 100 per cent. That’s our primary duty.”
Wike said: “If God gives you the ticket of PDP in this state, go home and sew your cloth for the inauguration day, because what will any Rivers man or woman be saying that he or she wants to vote for any other person in Rivers State?
“As a party, we have kept faith with our people. As a party, we have stood for our people. As a party, we have never allowed intimidation from any quarter, and that is what we are talking about the interest of Rivers State.
“Remember, before I came on board, one state had our property with them. As I came in as governor, with support and prayer of our people, we took all our property back.”
Wike said a new strategy would be adopted for the coming political season to replace “political big men” with people at the grassroots.
Speaking on behalf of defectors from Rivers South East Senatorial District, a former member of All Progressives Congress (APC) Board of Trustees, Dr. Sam Jaja said they had retraced their steps back to the PDP on self volition.
Jaja described Wike as a compassionate, loving and graceful leader, who was created to do good for the people.