ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) – Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has reacted to a statement by Atiku Abubakar, the standard-bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming presidential election, against the State.
According to the Governor, it is an “insult” for Atiku to describe the state as “unsafe”.
Wike, reacting, said the people of Rivers won’t vote for a candidate that tagged the state as unsafe.
He said this on Monday at the flag-off ceremony for the construction of the Emohua/Abalama/Tema road in Emohua LGA.
Reacting to Atiku’s comment about Rivers over the cancellation of the party’s presidential campaign rally in the State, Wike said: “I want to start by acknowledging the circumstances and turn of events that have led us to this unique style of a campaign rally,” Atiku had said at a town hall meeting with PDP stakeholders from Rivers, at an event in Abuja.
“Although we did not wish for this, it became expedient that we think and act innovatively to protect the lives of our people from the mindless violence and bloodshed instigated by the very persons who have the primary responsibility for their security and wellbeing.”
Continuing he said, it is “an insult” to Rivers for anybody seeking votes to meet the residents outside the State.
“You are addressing Rivers people in Abuja. Is that not an insult? You cannot come to Rivers state and talk to us.
“You say Rivers state is not safe, but you want their votes. Rivers people, will you allow that? Those who declared our state to be unsafe are those who are seeking your votes. It is unfortunate. No right-thinking Rivers person will take that insult.
“And I challenge all of you here to behave like true Rivers people to say nobody can buy you; nobody can summon you outside Rivers state.
“If you want to talk to us, come to Rivers state and talk to us. No amount of blackmail, no amount of intimidation can change our position. We want the unity of Nigeria.”
The Rivers Governor added that the people of the State will vote for a candidate who has the welfare of the state at heart.
Recall that Wike and four other Governors of the PDP; Samuel Ortom (Benue), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), have boycotted Atiku’s presidential campaign rallies.