Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has condemned the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) move to produce another president from the north as condemnable as the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He urged those who claim that Nigeria is not ripe for a Muslim-Muslim ticket not to also justify and embrace the efforts at retaining the presidency in the North.
The governor spoke on Sunday at the special dedication service for the Rivers State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) 2023 general election campaigns rallies, at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Port Harcourt.
He maintained that those involved in such double-speak and trying to hoodwink some gullible few, know that they are insulting the sensibility of well-meaning Nigerians who want a united country that advances national cohesion.
He said; “You play on people’s intelligence; you say Nigeria is not ripe for Muslim-Muslim ticket, I agree. But Nigeria is ripe for the presidency to remain in one zone? I mean, just look at the insult. You blow hot and cold.”
Wike urged those people who condemn the Muslim-Muslim ticket as wrong, to also know that Nigerians are also saying it is wrong to retain the presidency in the North after President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to him; “Most of you just sit there, you don’t ask yourselves questions. Somebody continues to sell these kinds of cheap ideas. You don’t ask the person, I agree with what you are saying but look at what we are saying here.
“Your party wants the presidency to go to the same zone where President Muhammadu Buhari is coming from. Who is cheating who?”
He reminded the church of the need to participate in the voting process saying that it should not get involved to the extent of serving as cannon fodder against any political party or political actor.
He pleaded with the church to be careful and resist politicians who come to mobilise them as if there is a religious war to wage.
“It is not now that politics have come, you want to come and tell the church a different story for your own personal interest. We have to be careful so that the church is not destroyed. Because, all of us, for example, are Anglicans, I will not allow anybody, for his selfish interest to destroy the church of Nigeria. I will not allow that.”
The governor also used the opportunity to warn that his administration will not allow those who in the past instigated wanton destruction of lives and property in the state under the guise of politics to repeat the same.
He described as ludicrous and cheap blackmail the allegation by Dr Abiye Sekibo and some of his associates that the state government recently sent thugs to attack them.
He said; “Some people are saying we sent thugs to attack them. You see, when people see failure, they will begin to plan excuses. These are people all of us know our background and how we have won elections in our various local governments. I remember one of them during the last election could not even go to his local government. He ran down to Port Harcourt and stayed with me. Instead of you to tell your principal, this will be difficult for me, you are giving excuses.”
The governor who emphatically declared that he has never engaged in any acts of political violence in all his political career warned those who might be planning to plunge the state into chaos to rethink.
“Anybody who knows me knows, that I have never been violent. If I am violent, I won’t go to court. But we know those who planted killings in this state when they were Secretary to the government. We know them, but that killing will not happen again in the state. We will not give you the opportunity to try it again,” Wike declared.
On the issue of Executive Orders 21 and 22, the governor advised politicians in the state to approach the court rather than take the laws into their hands insisting that until the court declares otherwise, the government will ensure full implementation of the orders.
“The Federal Government has come up with so many Executive Orders, we didn’t kill anybody, but we went to court to challenge such others. The Federal Government has done a lot of things that Rivers state had challenged in court, and by the grace of God, we won.
“If there is anything any government has done which you feel you are not comfortable with, you have to go to court and challenge it, and not just to come out to shout they don’t want you to the campaign. Why will anybody not like you to the campaign.”
In his sermon, the cathedral archdeacon of St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Venerable Obinna Ochulor spoke on the topic; “God our refuge” and exhorted the congregation to acknowledge the infallibility of God always.
He pointed to how people often rush to the altar of God to make vows when they are either experiencing critical situations or would refuse to return to fulfil them when they have triumphed.
While vows are important to be fulfilled, he admonished the congregation and particularly the PDP family to trust in God as their defence and shield so that they can enjoy his protection against all shades of evil.
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