Rivers State Governor and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirant, Nyesom Wike, yesterday, cautioned that should the national leadership lose him, the party would lose the next general elections.
Wike was at PDP’s national secretariat to woo the National Working Committee (NWC) members to vote for him at the May 29 presidential primary.
He said: “The household name now is Wike, so don’t make mistake and lose Wike. Because if you lose Wike, you have lost the election. It is not our prayer that we should lose the election.”
Reminding the NWC members of how he had sustained the campaign prior to the October 2021 convention, the governor submitted: “So, let us not waste time. Go and tell our people that you have seen the right person, and the right person is Wike.
“So, it is important you do the campaign for me, that was how I did it for you too.”
He continued: “When I was fighting the former NWC, some of you were supporting them. Now, all of you are here.
“One good turn deserves another. So, you people should also pay back. You didn’t go to the campaign, but now am coming to the campaign. So pay back.”
In a swift reaction, the Dr. Iyorchia Ayu–led NWC rejected the request, saying it was not possible for them to campaign for Wike when they are expected to ensure that the primary is transparent, free and fair.
Ayu noted: “On one hand, you want a level playing field from the NWC. On the other hand, you want the NWC to canvass vote for you and vote for you. You have to choose one, you can’t have the two.”
He pledged that the NWC would uphold PDP’s tradition, stating: “The tradition since 1999 is running very credible, transparent conventions starting from Jos to the last one that produced this NWC.
“I want to assure you that there will be no foul play, no manipulation. We will certainly do better than what you did in October last year. We will hold an absolutely transparent convention. At that stage, we will try to be the INEC of the PDP, not to be partisan. We’ll try as much as possible to make sure that every member of the NWC works for the party.”
Earlier, Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu justified his support for Wike’s ambition, pointing out that he had refused to be held down by geography.