•Wike says he’s not bigger than party
By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
On a day the Supreme Court threw out the suit which sought to have the PDP zone its presidential ticket to the Southern part of the country, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, in a live television broadcast acknowledged that he is not “bigger” than the party.
Rt. Hon. Cosmos Ndukwe, a former presidential aspirant and former Deputy Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly, had in April approached a Federal High Court in Abuja to stop the PDP presidential primary. He had lost at the Court of Appeal prompting him to proceed to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court in a unanimous decision on Friday held that it lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter on account that it is an internal issue of the party.
The ruling of the Supreme Court is expected to lay to rest the legality of the action of the party in throwing open its presidential contest following the ratification of the Governor Samuel Ortom Committee by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party.
Following the outcome of the presidential primary that produced Atiku Abubakar as the candidate of the party and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as Vice Presidential candidate, Governor Wike, the runner-up and who was passed over in the Vice Presidential search, has been up in arms against the party.
The high point of the grievances was Tuesday’s pullout by the Wike camp from the Presidential Campaign Council. However, the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar had appealed to Wike and members of his aggrieved camp to rethink their withdrawal in the interest of the PDP and Nigerians who are looking up to the party to rescue it from the current socio-economic and political quagmire the country is facing.
But speaking yesterday in a lengthy interview on NTA, AIT, Channels and TVC, Gov Wike continued his unabated attacks on the PDP, its presidential standard bearer, Atiku Abubakar and the National Chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu.
But a source in the PDP Presidential Campaign Council who pleaded anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issues at play said: “We are of the strong view that this is an uncharitable comment by a supposedly top member of the party, and obviously an elevated falsehood raised to put the presidential candidate in a bad light.
“In all his political life, there is no evidence so far that Atiku Abubakar, a former Vice President, has in his actions or pronouncements, portrayed himself as an unworthy and unreliable political leader. He distances himself from disreputable actions and embraces the noble values that could propel our country to decency and greatness.
“This is what is responsible for his political activities: to be given an opportunity to contribute to the greatness of the nation and help advance the potentials of the country and its teeming youthful population. The Wazirin Adamawa remains a man of deep conviction, honesty and integrity.
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“Governor Wike says he is fighting for fairness, justice and equity. But in the pursuit of all that the government assumes the state and the entire south of the country. With all sincerity and as a party faithful which he claims to be, he should stop fighting a war that does not exist. It is also important to dispel the impressions that may have been created during the interview that key political positions have been shared.
Yes, politics is about negotiations and more negotiations to reach a consensus and, sometimes, even compromise, it is a futile exercise for positions to be shared when an electoral victory has not been secured.
We appeal to Governor Wike that Nigeria is in desperate need of visionary leaders to rescue and redeem the nation from this wrecking administration. This is not the time to pull punches and settle scores particularly when they do not exist, but a time to combine strength and efforts to lift our people from nearly eight years of sustained pain and despondency. It is our prayer that God will rescue the country through PDP.”
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