By Kelvin Ebiri
The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) might become extinct if it fails to present electable candidate to win the 2023 presidential election.
Governor Wike, who is a PDP presidential aspirant, said winning the 2023 general election is crucial to the survival of the party and 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 capital of Anambra State on 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. And 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 is 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 close. I will win the election.”
Governor 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 life and property has failed in its primary responsibility and should be voted out. He reaffirmed that if elected President of Nigeria, he will 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.
Former Gombe State governor, Dr.Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, said the history of the PDP cannot be complete without Governor Wike, who joined the party in 1998 and has remained a faithful, supportive member. He described Governor Wike as a courageous and fearless leader who has in the last seven years transformed the infrastructural landscape of Rivers State.
A member of the PDP Board of Trustee, Maxwell Okudoh noted that if not for the effort of Governor Wike, the party would have gone into extinction. Okudoh declared that at this critical juncture in Nigeria’s history, a courageous and determined leader is 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 are solidly behind Governor 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, Governor Wike had visited the Obi of Onitsha, Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe, to notify the king of his presidential ambition. Governor Wike promised that if elected president, he will ensure that traditional ruler are given constitutional role in the governance of the country.
The Obi of Onitsha, who described Governor Wike as a courageous and focused leader, said the country is in a dire strait and desperately needs a leader to restore her lost glory. “You have been described by your brother governor as courageous, as focused and as an accomplished, and I can vouch for that because I have watched your performance and leadership. We pray to God that we get right leadership to direct our country and you have put yourself forward.”