Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State on Thursday said that the state won’t vote a candidate based on ethnic, religious or party sentiments come the 2023 elections.
The governor also reeled out equity, justice and fairness as the preconditions for a truce to be reached between the leadership of his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the aggrieved Group of Five (G5) governors
The G5 governors consisting Wike, Samuel Ortom (Benue); Seyi Makinde (Oyo); Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and Ifeanyi Ngwuanyi (Enugu) have been up in arms with the leadership of the party, holding out for the removal of party chairman, Iyorchia Ayu.
They demand Ayu’s removal as PDP national chairman to have a Southerner step in, stating that Ayu who is from the North cannot hold on to the position when Atiku Abubakar another northerner is the party’s presidential candidate.
Wike said this during the commissioning of a flyover by former APC chairman, Adams Oshiomhole in Rumueprikon in Obio-Akpor Local Government Area, Port Harcourt, Wike’s country home.
The governor said that it was unacceptable for anybody to ask people not to voted for a candidate because they are not from a particular ethnic group or religion.
Wike said: “What we require in this country today is united, one Nigeria. This how all of us can see ourselves as one and how we can see ourselves as our brothers’ keepers.
“We need a Nigeria that all us can be proud of, that I will know that truly I am not a second class citizen, that the same right you have is the same right I have, the same opportunity you have is the same opportunity that I have. There is no need of saying if you are not from this place people will not vote for you. We don’t want that.
On what it will take to reach a truce with the PDP leadership, Wike explained that the group of five governors fighting for inclusiveness in PDP will not buy into any reconciliation not based on the principles of equity, justice and fairness.
He reiterated their position that elective offices must be shared equally between the North and the South in the opposition party ahead of the 2023 general election.
Wike said: “People will praise you but the day you say no, they will oppose you. I am sure those of them in my party, before they cannot say anything without mentioning Wike. But now because I said let the right thing be done, I have now become an enemy. These are people who are praising me everything.
“And some people believe they won’t obey an agreement but we say it must be done. We stand for equity, fairness and justice. That is what the G5 will continue to preach. We have said we are not against reconciliation but it must be based on equity, fairness and justice”.