Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has expressed delight at the award President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) gave him recently.
The governor expressed appreciation for the award at a dinner/reception in his honour to celebrate the “Distinguished Award in Infrastructure Delivery” on Monday in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
Wike said: “So, I thank all of you, and I dedicate this award to God Almighty and to all of you who have prayed for us to achieve what we have achieved. The award is not to me. It is to all of you.
“I feel proud to say if the ruling party can say you have done well, who is that person? Let them come and campaign here.
“We must all work together. Traditional rulers, help Rivers State to move forward. Contractors, all of you should help Rivers State so that it can be what it used to be with the foundation Dr. Peter Odili laid.”
Wike promised to leverage his award to campaign in the 2023 elections, saying no other party can come to Rivers State to campaign.
He said: “Bring your report card. I will bring the award and the certificate. President Buhari said I have done well.”
Wike also promised to resign as governor if anybody can prove that he promised to make him his successor.
In a statement yesterday in Port Harcourt, the state capital, by his Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, the governor said it was impossible for him to promise to help someone to succeed him and then renege on it.
Also, the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has responded to claims by Governor Wike that the party’s candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, did not consult him before choosing representatives from the state to serve on his campaign council.
The party’s campaign council’s spokesman Kola Ologbondiyan said this yesterday in an interview on Arise TV.
On Monday, Wike stated that Atiku chose “enemies” of Rivers State to be on his campaign council for the 2023 general election, when he spoke at the launch of the state’s PDP campaign council in Port Harcourt.
“Some people have asked me why is it that they don’t see the presidential candidate’s picture (and) the party chairman’s? I said what are you talking about? The presidential candidate entered my state and picked members of the presidential council without a whole governor of a state having a contribution.
“The presidential candidate entered Rivers State and picked those he wants to pick without the contribution of the governor. So, they said they don’t need me to campaign for them, that they don’t need Rivers people to campaign for them. Will you force yourself?” Wike had disclosed.
But the PDP Campaign Council said the Rivers State chapter of the party, and Wike by extension, refused to send nominees after requests were made by Umar Bature, the National Organising Secretary.
“I read the position of Governor Wike with regard to nomination in the campaign council. But let me state that the person who is in charge is Umar Bature, the National Organising Secretary.
“Bature said that requests were made to nominate persons into the campaign council but the Rivers State chapter didn’t respond and the responsibility falls on the party and the National Organising Secretary.
“Nonetheless, it is the purview of the candidate to nominate advisers,” Ologbondiyan said.