2023: The South will make statement soon, Says Wike

Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, today says that the southern region comprising South-East, South-Wvest, and South-South geopolitical zones will soon make a statement that will clarify their stand on zoning.

He said this on Monday during a meeting of stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Port Harcourt, the Rivers capital.

According to a statement by Kelvin Ebiri, his spokesperson, Wike said members of the PDP, irrespective of the region they come from, must work together towards achieving positive results in the 2023 elections.

“Please, discountenance anything you’re seeing and hearing; all those social media posts,” he was quoted as saying.

“The south will make a statement very soon. It is not about you’ll be vice-president to this or these people are consulting. The day the south makes a statement, Nigerians will know that we are not joking.

“It’s not to come out to say you’re consulting. You’re consulting, yet, you’ve declared. Is it not after consultation that you declare? You’ve already declared and you say you’re consulting. What are you consulting again then?

“And people take the south for granted, saying that they are not together. No problem. If we didn’t know yesterday, today we know. We are assets. We are not a liability. When we say we are going to support the party, we support the party with everything we have. We are not in America where you do television campaigns.

“When we come out, we will choke them. They know it. So, everybody should relax. Let the south do their homework and then, they’ll make a proper statement.

“What is necessary is how the party must be cohesive; to make sure that the party gets it right. When you threaten that it must be north, then you’re not trying to make peace or when you threaten it must be south, you’re not trying to make peace.

“It’s a matter of sitting down and understanding; look at this and that. That is the way it’s supposed to be.”

Wike also urged party supporters to disregard the recent comment made by Raymond Dokpesi, former chairman of Daar Communications and a PDP chieftain, on the zoning of the presidential ticket to the south in 2027.

On January 24, TheCable reported that Dokpesi, who heads Atiku Abubakar’s presidential campaign technical committee, said the former vice-president is the “shortest cut” to a south-east presidency.

The PDP chieftain had said if elected president, Atiku would serve for a single four-year term, then work towards handing over to someone from the south-east in 2027.

“Forget about Chief Dokpesi, with all due respect. If we follow the kind of statement that Dokpesi is making everyday, by now the party would have been destroyed. But we said no,” Wike said.

Concerning Rivers’ governorship election, Wike said he would not choose any aspirant as his successor, adding that he hopes the best candidate emerges.

“I am not anointing anybody. All I’ve said to God is that ‘help me that a better person will emerge that will move this state forward’,” he said.

“I urge all of you to be calm. It is still early for us to say it must be this person or that person.”

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