Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike has clarified the group of five Governors fighting for inclusiveness in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will not accept any reconciliation against the principles of equity, justice and fairness.
Wike maintained that their position that elective offices must be shared equally between the north and the south in the PDP ahead of the 2023 general elections remained sacrosanct.
The Governor spoke on Wednesday when he led former All Progressives Congress(APC) National Chairman Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to inaugurate the eighth flyover located in his country home of Rumueprikon, Obio-Akpor Local Government Area, Port Harcourt capital city.
Wike said: “People will praise you but the day you say no, they will oppose you. I am sure those of them in my party before they cannot say anything without mentioning Wike. But now because I said let the right thing be done, I have now become an enemy. These are people who are praising me for everything.
“And some people believe they won’t obey an agreement but we say it must be done. We stand for equity, fairness and justice. That is what the G5 will continue to preach. We have said we are not against reconciliation but it must be based on equity, fairness and justice”.
Wike noted that the country was in dire need of unity, justice and equity and that the next election would not be based on party, ethnicity and religion.
He said it was unacceptable for anybody to say people should not be voted for because they were not from a particular ethnic group or religion.
He said: “What we require in this country today is united Nigeria. It is how all of us can see ourselves as one and how we can see ourselves as our brothers’ keepers.
“We need a Nigeria that all of us can be proud of, that I will know that truly I am not a second class citizen, that the same right you have is the same right I have, the same opportunity you have is the same opportunity that I have. No need of saying if you are not from this place people will not vote for you. We don’t want that.
“We want a Nigeria that everybody can say indeed this is the Nigeria we are looking for. For us, all we are looking for is how Nigeria will progress, and how people will have food on their tables. It is not about ethnicity, it is not about religion and it is not about party. It is about how Nigeria will progress. That is where we stand”.
The Governor insisted that Rivers people would only follow anybody with the capacity and sincerity to protect their interests.
He said: “Like I said politics now is a matter of interest. You must tell me what the interest of Rivers State is. If my state will not benefit I will not join you. I will not join anybody, who doesn’t want my state to benefit. I will not support anybody who doesn’t support my state. For us, if you hate us, we hate you. If you like us we like you”.
On why people without integrity should not be trusted with leadership, the Governor said: “What is important about leadership is integrity. If you have lost your integrity, there is nothing you can offer again. That is the problem we have in this country.
“Politicians will stand up and make a statement and then people are watching you to fulfill that statement, and then when you don’t Nigerians will say that is how politicians behave. I don’t agree to that. Individuals can behave that way but I won’t behave that way.
“If I say something today, I will make sure I do it. If there is any reason why I won’t do it, I will come back to you and let you know the reason. If you want to lead the people, you must lead by example. People should stop thinking that blackmailing people will help anybody. It will rather damage your case more. Nobody can intimidate us and nobody can tell us what to do. Nobody can choose my friends for me”.
The governor again tendered an unreserved public apology to Oshiomole for all his utterances during the second term election of Governor Godwin Obaseki.
He, however, recalled that Oshiomhole, when he held sway as the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) vigorously opposed his reelection in 2019, accusing the former Edo Governor of deploying soldiers to frustrate him.
He said Oshiomhole’s ouster as the APC Chairman brought a lot of relief to opposition parties describing the former chairman as tough and strong.
He said: “I use this opportunity to apologise to you. I came to Edo State to make sure your candidate didn’t win the election. I was virtually in charge of everything. And I said you wouldn’t win and you didn’t win. That assignment had been done and we now know who is who. I want to tell my people that I sincerely apologise to you. I want to sincerely apologise to all the things I said that time.
“But you too, you peppered me here. During the 2019 election, you sent all the soldiers but the people stood firm and resisted it. So, you did me one and I did you one. So, we forgive ourselves. Now we are friends. Let bygones be bygones. You did me, I retaliated.
“The Bible says when someone does you bad you shouldn’t retaliate. But in politics, when someone does you badly you retaliate because if you don’t retaliate, you don’t know whether you will survive the next one. Politics is not a religion at all. If not that we were firm, your party needed this state badly.
“Your President has given us an award as the best in infrastructure. So I don’t know again what you will use to campaign in the state again because I am carrying the certificate everywhere I am going to. So, you people should surrender. There is no need for campaigning in this State.”