From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has described as unfortunate the unguarded public comments made by the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in an interview ona national television channel.
Governor Wike maintained that the right thing such persons should have done, particularly the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and the PDP national chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, would have been to reach out to him, but they have not.
The governor accused Atiku of telling lies against him (Wike) in the interview. He made the accusation while speaking with journalists at the international wing of the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, in Ikwerre Local Government Area, shortly after his arrival from Spain on Friday.
Governor Wike pointed to how Abubakar used the occasion of the unveiling of PDP vice presidential candidate, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, and his appearance on a national television to lie against him.
He said: “But, there comes a time that people will understand and know the true facts. So, obviously, whether I will speak is not in doubt, to let Nigerians know the actual truth. Having known the truth, whatever they decide to do with it is left for Nigerians.
“Because, you can imagine, the presidential candidate of the PDP Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, when he unveiled vice presidential candidate, no right thinking lover of this party would say that the speech he made on that day was fair. Forget about the favour-seekers. Forget about the scavengers. But, I never reacted to it. That is because this party belongs to all of us.
“Thereafter, he appeared on Arise Television, see the statement he made. So many lies were told and you said I should not react to some of those issues. That would not be fair.”
Governor Wike explained that after the PDP primaries, he returned to Rivers State to focus on fulfilling the remaining promises that he made to Rivers people. He said, already a number of ompleted projects have been outlined for inauguration and when that was done, he would respond to all the lies peddled against him.
“Assuming today, I’m not alive, obviously what they have said would be accepted as the truth. Look at his (Atiku) attack dogs, Sule Lamido, Babaginda Aliyu, Maina Waziri. Look at the statements they issued. Look at the abuses they rained on me, but I never reacted.
“And Nigerians will ask, you mean these things happened? So, it is important that as a person and for my own future, and for those who rally around me to say, look, this is not fair. So, I will make sure that I will react to them, line by line of the statements made by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar himself and his attack dogs.”
Governor Wike asserted that he contested the presidential primary squarely and emerged in the second position so he would not tolerate being disparaged. He emphasised on speaking to lovers of the party by putting the record straight so that they will know who is being truthful.
“Look at it, a presidential candidate who believes that he wants to win election, and somebody who contested fiercely with him that has never raised any issue. I just kept quiet, just minded my business, to see how my state can move forward.
“But, everyday, his people come up to attack me, to say one thing or the other. That’s quite unfair and so I should let Nigerians know at the appropriate time, that will be after the commissioning of projects that we have lined up. He admitted that Senator Bukola Saraki met with him in Spain, but said the former Senate President was not sent by anybody.