PORT HARCOURT – Governors Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Samuel Ortom of Benue State and Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State say their consultations ahead of the 2023 elections are in the best interest of the nation.
The governors had in the past few days met with top politicians in the country including the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu; the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) flagbearer, Atiku Abubakar; his Labour Party (LP) counterpart, Peter Obi and former President Olusegun Obasanjo among others in London, UK.
The recent moves which were started by Wike following his fallout with the PDP after the presidential primary which he lost to Atiku, have triggered widespread reactions but the governor said his consultations portend good tidings for Nigeria.
“What we are talking about is for the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians. It is not a parochial thing – being centred on a person or group of persons,” the governor said on Friday at the VIP Lounge of the Port Harcourt International Airport following his arrival in the country. He was with both Ortom and Ikpeazu.
“We believe that what is going on will be in the interest of Nigerians at the end of the day. Consultation is still ongoing. Nothing we have said now has been concretised. Discussions are going on,” he said.
According to him, nothing can deter his camp from saving Nigeria from some leaders who only want to turn political offices into a family business.
“Leadership is not about you and your family. Leadership is about everybody. Somebody finishes eight years as governor, he brings his own son to be governor, brings his son to go to National Assembly?” the governor asked.
He added that “it is only in this part of the world that you can see that. When we are talking about poverty everywhere? These are people who do not mean well for Nigeria.”
He is, however, optimistic “that with the consultations that are ongoing, it will be a thing of the past”.
“No amount of insults, blackmail can deter us from doing the right thing. So, we are poised for it and there will be no going back,” Wike maintained.
Ortom said: “We are looking at the larger picture. Nigeria today is in distress. What can we do? No man or woman alone can get it right. We are looking at how we can harness and put ideas together and see how we can get out of the present challenge we are in Nigeria today. Nigeria is in distress from top to bottom. Consider what was happening in 2015 and where we are today. It is the concern we have for our country, Nigeria. So this is beyond partisan politics. We are looking at how we can come together and ensure that Nigeria survives. Nigeria is on drip, Nigeria is on oxygen. Consultation is going on”.
On his part, Ikpeazu said “we must find a way to rescue our country not only for this generation but for our children’s children. We have people everywhere. We also intend to talk with civil society, people who have ideas. Going forward the interest of Nigeria is paramount.”