Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, yesterday, described attacks by his Rivers State counterpart, Nyesom Wike, against his Deputy, Philip Shaibu, as “most unfortunate and totally uncalled for.”
In a statement, the governor called on leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to caution him, noting that the issues raised by his deputy are germane and needed to be resolved in the interest of the party.
“The recent personal attacks by His Excellency, the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, against my Deputy, Comrade Philip Shaibu, is, to say the least, most unfortunate and totally uncalled for.
“If Governor Wike was one who is wont to show respect and courtesy to his colleague-governors, he would have ordinarily reached out to me to express his concerns about the views made by my deputy, rather than embarking on this unwarranted public onslaught.
“My deputy governor was a former national president of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and his comment is representative of the essence of the nation’s youth population, who are inclined to openly speak up and question the status quo. If Wike cannot understand and adequately respond to the style and character of the Nigerian youth, how can he aspire to lead them?
“His Excellency, Governor Wike should have taken a cue from the manner in which the National Chairman of our party, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, responded to my deputy’s remarks, as a conscientious leader who is able to show empathy and consideration.
“The concerns expressed by my deputy bordered on pertinent issues affecting the PDP in Edo State which since the September 19, 2020 elections, have been able to register over 500,000 members; and till date, these new members have not been properly integrated into our party after two years,” he said.
He said comments by the deputy governor did not threaten the party as Wike alleged. Rather, he said it was Wike, who had at different times, threatened the PDP.
Noting that Wike had contributed to the advancement of the party, just like others, since 1999, he said: “We are all equal stakeholders in the party and an aggregate of the ideas, opinions and contributions of all leaders and members should form the position of the party and not the view of one individual or a select few.
“While Wike is free to use his resources as he deems fit in pursuit of his ambition, he should not attempt to cow, intimidate, cajole and threaten others into doing his bidding. Edo State cannot and will not be procured for anyone’s personal ambition.”
BUT rather than pacify the protesting Edo governor and his deputy, Wike fired yet another salvo at them, yesterday. He did so during the inauguration of the Community Secondary School, Omuanwa in Ikwerre Council of the state. Wike, instead, apologised to the former national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, for opposing him when he insisted that Obaseki was a treacherous and ungrateful man.
A statement signed by Kelvin Ebiri, the Special Assistant to Wike on media, stated that Oshiomhole was in right then and has been vindicated given the recent display of ingratitude by Obaseki to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and to those who helped him to secure his second tenure as governor of Edo State.
Wike said, “If you go and check the DNA of Godwin Obaseki, what you’ll see in that DNA is serial betrayal and ungratefulness. Let me stand today to apologise to Adams Oshiomhole, who has been vindicated by telling us that we will see the true colour, we’ll see the insincerity, we’ll see the ungratefulness of Godwin Obaseki.
“So let me apologise to Adams Oshiomhole and to say you have been vindicated. You were right, we were wrong. I’ve never seen people who are so ungrateful in life. I’ve never seen people who can betray everything in life. “
He said the problem in Edo State stems from Governor Obaseki asking the National leadership of PDP to dissolve Edo PDP executive when the leaders had been elected before he joined the party and had provided formidable structure for him to win the election.
The Rivers State Governor wondered why Obaseki was unable to bring everybody together and work with them but instead wants to unleash the illegality of APC in PDP, which is being resisted because ordinarily, he is a political tenant in PDP.
He said: “I’ve invested in the party, Rivers State has invested in the party. We have voted for PDP since 1999 till now. Ask Governor Obaseki, has he done anything for PDP? Has he voted for PDP? The only election he voted for was his own election when we gave him umbrella. So, who has more stake in PDP? I have more stake because I’ve supported PDP always. You’ve never supported PDP, rather it was when your godfather chased you away and you came begging, kneeling down. People came with pressure and we allowed you. Ordinarily, you’re a tenant.”
He said it was unfortunate that Obaseki could describe him as a bully now that he is being cautioned. According to him, it is unfathomable that a man who came to get PDP’s governorship ticket in 2020 could now turn round to accuse him of being a bully.
“You came to beg a bully for you to have a ticket. A bully was your DG campaign and a bully bullied you into Government House. What a shame? It did not only end there. You came with your wife to thank the bully that after God, the bully made it possible for you to be there.”
Inaugurating the project, former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana described Wike as a courageous leader who is focused, has capacity, wisdom, integrity and dedication to service.
Gana noted that Wike has used the resources of the state to better the well-being of the Rivers people and has become a sterling example of the kind of leadership Nigerians should expect from the PDP in 2023.