Nyesom Wike, Governor of Rivers State, voiced his severe disgust at recent remarks made by Uche Secondus, a political adversary and former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Wike, who has vowed he would only support Atiku Abubakar, the PDP presidential candidate, if Iyorchia Ayu resigns his position as the chairman of the party to a southerner, had on Thursday said he would choose a candidate and announce it in January 2023.
Secondus reportedly responded by assuring him that no one could force a candidate on the Rivers population since they were too educated to do so.
But on Saturday, the governor disagreed with the former PDP chairman while the Aluu-Omagwa Road in Ikwerre Local Government Area was being opened (LGA).
“I read in the newspaper this morning where a former member of our party, one Prince Uche Secondus said that no one man can impose a presidential candidate on Rivers people. He’s not a member of our party.
“His ward expelled him from this party; the court affirmed it. He went to the Court of Appeal – he lost. He went to the Supreme Court, the matter is coming up on October 23rd, 2023,” he said.
Wike told the attendees, “I told him he would not be national chairman or conduct the convention. Did he conduct it? Was he at the national convention?” to which the crowd chorused, “No!”
Wike continued, “In any case, I never said I was going to impose my candidate on Rivers people,” he added. “I said I was going to tell Rivers people whom I’m going to support, whom I’m going to campaign for. But you see, you don’t blame them.
“When you didn’t finish secondary school, you will not understand the grammar that ‘I will tell Rivers people whom I want to support’ does not mean I said, ‘Rivers people, I will impose a candidate on you.’”
Wike argued that the only person that would defend the people of Rivers had their ear, adding that Secondus allegedly had no influence on them.
“You (Secondus) cannot defend the interest of Rivers people is that Atiku wins so you can get an oil block. That’s all. Just like the one you forced to be a senator in Rivers South-East because he was not supposed to be a senator. It was Magnus Abe that was supposed to be senator, an educated man at that level,” he said.
“I don’t know how Secondus would have the effrontery, the temerity to talk to somebody like me who finished primary school, secondary school very well, who went to university very well, went for youth service, came back for university, went to law school, was called to bar.
“I’m going to Rumuepirikom where I come from. I’m going to mobilise them to vote where I want them to vote. I will bring 98 percent of the vote. Let them assure their own candidate that they will bring five percent; I will bring 98 in my community.
“The community will say, ‘Look at it; what don’t we have, from chairman of local government, he gave us this. As chief of staff, he gave us this. As minister, we had this. As governor, see what we’re having.’”