I will never join APC – Wike

The governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has said once again that he will never join the All Progressives Congress (APC), despite the party’s governors’ admirable position on allocating the presidency to the South.

The governor said that rumors that he may switch to the APC are just that, rumors and that he is still a dedicated member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Port Harcourt, the state capital, was the site of the 114th quarterly general meeting of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers on Monday, where Governor Wike made these remarks.

He told the council that on Saturday, he will only vote for the presidential candidate who promises to keep the country together.

“I am not a member of APC and I will not be. But, they have made me recognize that they are the heroes of this country. The governors came out to say look, for the unity of this country, the presidency should go to the south. The governors of APC said the way the county is, they want the unity of this country and therefore, the presidency should go to the south.

“They could have as well said no, it doesn’t matter. As governors, we have the number. We can still say it should remain where it should remain. But they didn’t do that. They said the way we are seeing this country we want everybody to be together.

“Let no one say because I have the population, therefore, you will continue to dominate. In dominating you need peace, without peace you cannot govern.”

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Speaking on the crisis in PDP, the governor stated that Rivers State has helped to sustain PDP right from the era of the former governor, Dr. Peter Odili down to his administration. Therefore, he insisted that it is absolutely wrong for a section of the country to deny other people the opportunity to participate in presiding over the affair of the nation.

“We are all Nigerians and we want the unity of this country. We want Nigeria to move forward as a united country. Rivers State has always been in support of one Nigeria and we’ll continue to support one Nigeria. But in doing that, we believe in equity, we believe in justice, we believe in fairness. As the governor of this State, I will vote for the unity of this country. I will vote for anything that will unite Nigeria.

“I will not support anything that will divide Nigeria. And that is what necessitated the principle of live and let’s live. If only one person continues to live, things will not be good. It’s not about party, it is about Nigeria. I am a member of Peoples Democratic Party, an unrepentant member, who in fact, built this party when people ran away.”

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His commitment to national unity, he said, is why he has been one of the PDP’s most visible advocates for more diversity inside the party. He believes that Rivers, a strategically important state, should not be forced to settle for second place in Nigeria.

While Governor Wike does not advocate for traditional leaders to get involved in politics, he has presented the PDP’s governorship candidate, Sir Siminialayi Fubara, to the council and asked for their support in order to ensure that the positive progress made by his administration since 2015 can be maintained.

After more than seven years in office, the governor of the state said that none of the state’s twenty-three LGAs can say they were ignored when it came to the completion of necessary projects.

Governor Wike told the traditional leaders that his administration will not abandon any of the projects it has awarded, including the Emohua/Abalama-Tema road restoration and dualization and the Ahoada/Omoku road.

Before leaving office, the Governor of Rivers State pledged to provide official cars to all traditional rulers recognized by the State.

His Majesty King Dandeson Douglas Jaja, Jeki V, Amanyanabo of Opobo, head of the Rivers State council of traditional rulers, expressed gratitude to the governor for the recognition the council has received since the governor’s election.

The king told the governor that members of the Council had agreed in a representative meeting to endorse any gubernatorial candidate of his choice who will go on with the state’s developmental blueprint as laid forth by him.

Ahead of the general election, the king has urged political actors and their supporters to conduct their activities peacefully so that the citizens can still have a State to cherish after the elections.

“They should also note that nobody’s political ambition is worth the blood of any resident of this State. We must remember that political parties are the only vehicles by which people access political offices.

“They are not permanent. Politicians can change parties anytime depending on changing circumstances. We, therefore, appeal to our politicians to eschew violence and stop using our youths as cannon fodder. Let the peace we are enjoying under this administration be sustained.”

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