Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) might become extinct if it fails to present electable candidate to win the 2023 presidential election.
This is even as the presidential aspirant has advised the PDP not to allow any aspirant who would later defect with the party’s mandate to emerge as its presidential flag-bearer.
Wike, who is a PDP presidential aspirant, said winning the 2023 general election was crucial to the survival of the party, adding that he remains the most electable aspirant that can defeat the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Rivers State governor made this assertion while wooing Anambra State PDP leaders and delegates to support his presidential ambition in Awka, the Anambra State capital, last Saturday.
He told the delegates that as a mark of honour, he had to personally visit Awka to formally notify them of his ambition to become the next President of Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“I didn’t send anybody to you, because I have respect for you. We have been opposition since 2015, and if we don’t win this election in 2023, we can as well forget PDP. So, everything must be done to win this election. No sentiment should be brought in, and of all the aspirants, whether the person is from Anambra, Sokoto, Imo, look at all of us, who can withstand APC in this election? It is me!”
The governor reiterated that prior to the 2015 general election, some of the present presidential aspirants defected to the APC and PDP lost the presidency.
He said it was ironical that after the PDP has been rebuilt and made formidable; those who abandoned it are back and jostling for the party’s ticket.
“I have challenged APC before. I have defeated them severally with the government in power. You know what happened in Rivers State. All I am asking the delegates, if you really want PDP to win this election in 2023, just give me that ticket. Go home and sleep with your eyes closed. I will win the election.”
Wike berated the APC-led Federal Government for its inability to stem the tide of insurgency and banditry in the country.
He maintained that any government that cannot protect lives and property has failed in its primary responsibility and should be voted out.
He reaffirmed that if elected President of Nigeria, he would end the current spate of insecurity, and return the country to the path of inclusive prosperity.
“Look, the day I win the general election in February next year, anybody who says he is a bandit; let him wait for me; I will take the war to them.”
He urged the delegates to support him, irrespective of their former governor, Peter Obi being an aspirant.
According to him, he remains the only electable presidential aspirant that can defeat the APC in 2023 general election.
In his remarks, former Gombe State Governor, Dr. Ibrahim Dankwambo, said the history of the PDP cannot be complete without Wike, who joined the party in 1998, and has remained a faithful, supportive member.
He described Wike as a courageous and fearless leader, who has in the last seven years, transformed the infrastructure landscape of Rivers State.
Also speaking, a member of the PDP Board of Trustees, Maxwell Okudoh, noted that if not for the effort of Wike, the party would have gone into extinction.
Okudoh declared that at this critical juncture in Nigeria’s history, a courageous and determined leader was all that the country requires to pull her out of the brinks.
Similarly, another member of the Board of Trustees, Mrs Chinelo Mofus, declared that the people of Anambra State were solidly behind Wike’s quest to become the next president.
“Our prayer is that God almighty will give you the victory. The people of Anambra are solidly behind you.”
Earlier, Wike had visited the Obi of Onitsha, Eze Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe, to notify him of his presidential ambition.
During the visit, Wike promised that if elected president, he would ensure that traditional rulers are given constitutional role in the governance of the country.
Achebe, who described Wike as a courageous and focused leader, said the country was in dire strait and desperately needs a leader to restore her lost glory.
“You have been described by your brother governor as courageous, focused and as an achiever, and I can vouch for that because I have watched your performance and leadership. We pray to God that we get the right leadership to direct our country, and you have put yourself forward.”
Similarly, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has advised the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) not to allow any aspirant who would later defect with the party’s mandate to emerge as its presidential flag-bearer.
Wike, who is a PDP presidential aspirant, urged PDP delegates to vote for him during the party’s convention because he lacks the propensity to defect with the party’s mandate to another party, if he wins the presidential election.
The Rivers State governor stated this while wooing PDP leaders and delegates in Abakaliki, capital of Ebonyi State, last Friday.
The governor said the advise had become imperative because of the defection of some governors, including that of Ebonyi State, Engr David Umahi and lawmakers from the PDP to the ruling All Progressives Congress.
“I have never left this party one day. When PDP was in problem, I stood firm, and I said PDP will not die. Don’t give (presidential) ticket to the person who will run from the party tomorrow. I am the only person Nigerians know will not run from the party.”
Wike expressed optimism that a day of reckoning awaits all those who defected from the PDP to the APC.
According to him, the PDP would continue to fight against injustice meted on it by the defectors in order to strengthen the country’s democracy.
“My colleague, David Umahi, wherever you are, wherever you may be, hear me very well: PDP had sleepless nights, PDP won election, and you took the mandate of our people and went to another party. If you know you are a man and you are very strong, and any day they fix election you will win, I challenge you to resign as governor and contest election, whether you will win again.”
The governor urged Ebonyi delegates to support his presidential ambition because he was the only aspirant who has the capacity to defeat the APC in the 2023 presidential election.
Wike reiterated that PDP cannot afford another defeat in the 2023 general election.
To this end, he advised delegates to shun ethno-religious sentiments and vote for him to pull Nigeria out from the brinks.
“What PDP wants now is who can win election. It is not about where you come from. What the party wants today is who can win election for PDP. Give me this ticket, let me go and win APC for you.”
The PDP presidential aspirant, who lamented the spate of killings across the country, declared that if he emerges as the next Nigerian president, he would decisively tackle insurgency, banditry, and grow the national economy.
Wike disclosed that as President of Nigeria, he would encourage women and youths’ active participation in politics.
“If I am the President of this country, I will not have less than seven women as ministers. I will not have less than seven youths as ministers.”
In his remarks, Enugu State Governor, Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, commended PDP faithful for remaining steadfast despite the recent defection of some members of the party to the APC.
Also speaking, former Gombe State Governor, Dr Ibrahim Dankwambo, told the delegates that Wike has the requisite experience to provide the good governance which majority of Nigerians were yearning for.
“Governor Nyesom Wike is the person that is prepared for the job in terms of his training, in terms of his character, courage, commitment to the party, and above all, his determination to work with all of you after he becomes the President of this country. He is strong, he has super energy.
“I have worked with a lot of people, including presidents, but I want to assure you today, Governor Wike is one of the real very active and strong people I have worked with in recent times. He is very strong, he is very committed, and he is very determined.”
Justice Mary Odili Saved My Political Career -Wike
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has said that he would remain grateful to Justice Mary Odili for her timely intervention that saved his political career in 2004.
Wike revealed this at the 70th birthday and retirement thanksgiving mass of Justice Mary Odili as Justice of the Supreme Court, held at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Chaplaincy, Catholic Institute of West Africa (CIWA) in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The Rivers State governor recalled how he cried to Justice Mary Odili when he got hint that his name was not included among those cleared to contest either as first term or second term chairmen of local government councils in the state
According to Wike, Justice Mary Odili listened to him, and took the complaint to her husband, Dr Peter Odili, who was the governor of Rivers State then.
Wike explained that the manner Justice Mary Odili presented the matter got her husband acting on it immediately.
He said, first, Dr Peter Odili invited the then Rivers State Peoples Democratic Party Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, to confirm the observation, and thereafter, put a call across to the then National Secretary of the PDP, Chief Vincent Ogbulafor.
“In 2004, that time her husband was the governor, so, she was going to Bori Camp for women empowerment scheme. I was to run for second tenure as chairman of my local government (Obio-Akpor).
“Now, they were having lunch with her husband and the state party chairman then, Prince Uche Secondus. And, I was told that my name had been removed in the list. So, I ran down to Government House.
“She had finished her own lunch, left her husband and was entering the vehicle. I said ‘mummy I’m finished’. She asked: what happened? I said they’ve removed my name.
“She ran back straight to her husband and informed him. Her husband asked who removed his name. At that time, Secondus had left. The husband then called the security at the gate; they stopped Secondus, and ask him to come back.”
He further added: “That was how I went back as second term chairman. For me, I can’t talk about my growth without mentioning her. If she was not around that day, to see the governor, you know is not an easy thing. Her being around that particular day saved my career in politics. And so, that was how I grew from there to become what I am today.”
Wike noted a vital lesson of life he learnt from Justice Odili, which is the determination to build the capacity to be successful in one’s career while not ignoring giving requisite attention to the family.
For Justice Mary Odili, Wike stated that there was a good balance she maintained that made her to succeed both in her career as a legal practitioner, a mother and wife in the family.
Wike said Justice Mary Odili had remained an embodiment of care and compassion because without relenting she treated everybody with dignity that they deserved.
“I have seen somebody who is very compassionate, and very caring. The moment you’re around her husband, she takes care of you. She sees you as her husband’s person and so she will always relate with you. Some of us are direct beneficiaries of the care through our relationship with the husband.”
Wike commended Justice Mary Odili for the 44 years of meritorious public service, which he described as no mean feat.
In his homily, the Chaplain of the Chaplaincy at CIWA, Monsignor Pius Kii, exhorted on the physical and eternal benefits Christians derive when they love God, one another and their enemies.
Kii emphasised that living a life of love demonstrates faithful discipleship, obedience to God, and secures daily victory in life’s endeavours.
Giving her speech, Justice Mary Odili described the joy she felt as unspeakable and a thing of honour to have Wike, as a sitting governor, doing a vote of thanks in her honour.
According to her, she and her spouse, Dr. Peter Odili have lots of things to always thank God, and will remain grateful to him because he gave them countless triumphs despite the challenges that they have encountered.
“The good Lord knows that Peter and I don’t know how to properly thank God. Our journey in life has been such that the good Lord has always been there. There have been challenges, no doubt, but the good Lord did not promise us that we will not have challenges, tribulations or difficulties. But the good Lord has always stood by us and made us prevail in all those trials and tribulations.”
Gunmen Kill Two Police Officers, Three Civilians, Injure Others In Bayelsa
Gunmen, on Saturday morning, attacked and killed two policemen, three civilians, and left several others injured in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
It was gathered that a vehicle conveying the police officers and some civilians were attacked by yet to be identified gunmen while coming from a colleague’s burial.
In a statement, signed and sent to newsmen, yesterday, through the State’s Police Public Relations Officer, SP Asinim Butswat, he stated that “On May14, 2022, at about 0745 hours, gunmen ambushed policemen serving at Rivers State Command, at Idema- Otuabagi Road, Ogbia Local Government Area, Bayelsa State, while returning from burial of a colleague, late ASP Gilbert Sampson, at Imago Kugbo, Rivers State.”
The statement continued that, “the suspected gunmen opened fire at the vehicle conveying the police officers and other civilians. In the process PC Asuo Osuani ‘m’ and Special Constabulary Odeoye Sampson ‘m’, Mr Terry Lucky ‘m’, Jennifer Adejo ‘f’ and Asueroh Tobins ‘f’ were fatally shot and later died, while Inspector Urere Edwin, Rejoice Sampson ‘f’ and Reward Sampson ‘f’ sustained bullets injuries and are responding to treatment”.
He said the Commissioner of Police, Bayelsa State Command, Ben Nebolisa Okolo, had ordered a manhunt for the gunmen who perpetrated the dastardly act.
Police Hold Medical Screening For 10,000 New Recruits, ’Morrow
The Rivers State Police Command has concluded plans to begin medical screening of successful candidates for recruitment into the force as constables.
The successful candidates are expected to form part of the 10, 000 new constables approved by the police authorities to be recruited to boost manpower requirements for enhanced policing in the country.
A statement signed in Port Harcourt, yesterday, by the Ag, Police Public Relations Officer, Rivers State Police Command, DSP Grace Iringe-Koko, said that the screening exercise would run for four days from May 17 through May 20.
The statement read, “The Rivers State Police Command wishes to inform the general public, particularly indigenes of the state, who were successful in the recently conducted Computer Based Test (CBT) which took place on April 20, 2022 at Archdeacon Brown Education Centre Woji, Port Harcourt in the ongoing 2021 police recruitment exercise, that the next stage of the exercise which is the medical screening for successful candidates is slated to hold from Tuesday, May 17 to Thursday, May 20, 2022.
“Venue: Police Clinic Yenaqoa, Bayelsa State. Time: 0800hrs daily.
“Candidates who participated in the recruitment screening CBT are to check their application status on the recruitment portal, www.policerecruitment.gov.ngand print out their medical screening slip bearing their respective date and time of the screening, if qualified.
“Consequently, qualified candidates are mandated to come along with the medical screening slip, NIN Slip and must appear in white T-shirt on white shorts at the venue of the exercise.
“The Commissioner of Police, Friday Eboka, has congratulated qualified candidates of this penultimate stage of the recruitment process, while wishing them success in the screening exercise.
“He further warns them to conduct themselves in an orderly manner to avoid acts capable of undermine the exercise, noting that the exercise is absolutely free as directed by the Police High Command.
“They are also enjoined to call 08100004507 for further enquiries”, the statement added.
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