Chief Nyesom Wike, the governor of Rivers State, has indicated that Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the Labour Party because some PDP politicians were trying to keep power in the north.
According to a statement by the governor’s press secretary, Kelvin Ebiri, Wike made a speech on Thursday while hosting the National Executive Committee of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo Worldwide at Government House in Port Harcourt.
He declared that he was a strong supporter of a Southern president and gave the example of Obi’s decision to quit the party after Sule Lamido informed him (Obi) that the north would retain power in 2023.
Wike said: “I supported that power must come to the south. When Obi came here, I gave him all the logistics; vehicles, and other support and paid for the stadium, but some other persons applied and I refused. You should know me too well by now.
“Obi was running with us. I knew when Obi left. He was principled and he said he can’t stand it, people should say the truth. He went to see Sule Lamido in Jigawa, not in Dutse, but in a village that will take you more than four or five hours drive from Dutse the capital.
“You know what he told Obi? He didn’t tell him that look, you came late and I have chosen somebody. He said it is the north that will produce the next president. That was how Obi left saying why is he wasting time. Ask him, that’s how he left PDP.
“And that was what I saw at the convention ground. Within minutes, knowing that I was going to win, your sons were all the ones who did everything and sabotaged me. I said ok, no problem.
“But I still maintained that look, if you have taken the presidential candidate you can’t take chairmanship again, give us back the chairman and I still stand by that and if you don’t do that whatever you see you take.”
Nonetheless, Igbos have long aspired to produce the president of Nigeria, and they regarded the most recent presidential election as an opportunity to secure it, according to Dr. Peter Anele, Deputy National Legal Adviser of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo Worldwide.