APC mounting pressure on INEC, security agencies to compromise Ondo gov’ poll — Wike

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Jibrin, PDP BoT chair, condemns alleged siege on Wike's hotel

Jibrin, PDP BoT chair, condemns alleged siege on Wike's hotel

…Rules out anointing his successor

…Doubts Obaseki will  return to APC but

By Dirisu Yakubu

Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike is known for his fearlessness and readiness to speak truth to power at all times. In the past years, the lawyer-turned politician has provided robust opposition to the government of President Muhammadu Buhari like no other.

Recently, he was appointed chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, national campaign council for penultimate Saturday’s governorship election in Edo state, won by the party’s candidate and incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki. When his appointment was announced, his counterpart in the All Progressives Congress, APC and governor of Kano state, Abdullahi Ganduje threw a jibe, saying Governor Wike would be isolated until the exercise was completed.

However, Wike did a massive job of returning Obaseki to Osadebe Avenue for a fresh mandate of four years, leaving the APC candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, former national chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole in lamentation of what went wrong across all 18 local governments in the state.

Ahead of the October 10 governorship contest in Ondo state; Governor Wike has again raised the alarm of plot to compromise the electoral umpire and security agencies into manipulating the exercise in favour of the ruling party. Speaking as guest of Channels Television breakfast show, Sunrise Daily on Friday, Wike predicted victory for the PDP provided the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC comes up with the same level of professionalism and impartiality as displayed in the Edo election a week ago.

He said, “If INEC plays the same role they played in Edo, and security agencies play the same role they played in Edo, I can assure you that PDP will win Ondo state governorship election. It is very obvious. Nigerians are tired of promises made and nobody is seeing anything from the ruling party.”

Asked if he’s refereeing to the party at the federal or state level, Wike responded this way:

“Who cares? What happens at the centre affects the state. It is the same party, same policies. The only fear I have as it concerns Ondo today is that there is so much pressure on INEC and security agencies. It is true that the APC is pressurizing them. I don’t need to tell you the source of my information because if I do,  will I get my information again? But everyone including APC knows that they are putting pressure on INEC and security agencies. And I see it in such a way that INEC may succumb to it but it is my prayers that they don’t. I hope they are firm this time as they did in Edo but I doubt if they can,” he maintained.

Justifying this position, Wike added that “Having lost Edo, APC will do everything to make sure that they don’t lose Ondo because if they lose Ondo, their fear is that Nigerians will now know that the party is gone.”

He further dismissed the role of incumbency in the Edo poll, stressing that the election was between the people and a godfather bent on imposing his will on the people.

“What was incumbency factor in Edo? If incumbency was a factor, I shouldn’t have had a problem. I won (his re-election in 2015) because of the will of the people. If you go to Ondo state, you will know that the will of the people is against the incumbent governor. The election in Edo state was between not between Obaseki and Oshiomhole. I don’t want to talk about their candidate because for me, he was not there. The election was between Edo people and Oshiomhole. The people felt it was time to stop playing on their intelligence and godfatherism had to stop. So Edo people came out and spoke very well,” he added.

Succession politics

Governor Wike also noted that the insistence of some governors in producing their successors is one of the factors militating against political development in the country.

His words: “That is why we are having these problems. Why must I produce somebody who succeeds me when I am leaving office? Why must I bring a successor? Everyone who wants to be at the helm of affairs will have his or her own vision and mission. If someone is coming to govern Rivers state and believes that he can go along with what I have done, so be it. I am not going to say Chamberlain (Channels presenter) should succeed me so that he can continue with what I have done. Why will I do that when he will have his own vision and mission? Once we have this succession plan at the back of our mind, then, there is a problem.

“And that is the problem with Nigeria’s politics today. Everybody wants ‘I will put who will succeed me’ but I will not do that. People are asking me why I am not making plans on who will succeed me. So, what will happen if the man who succeeds me fails to do what I ask him to do? And who says if he succeeds me, I can have control over him?    History has shown that this does not work. Allow everybody to have their own mind on what they want to do for the people so that the people can judge them based on what was done,” he emphasised.

Obaseki’s possible return to APC

On whether Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki, who was recently elected on the platform of the PDP will return to APC as it is being rumoured, Wike stated:  “I don’t want to discuss something that is not going to be possible. However, assuming it happens, so what? That is politics.

“If the governor believes that the PDP is no longer a party for him to actualise his vision and his mission, there is nothing wrong but I don’t believe that it is going to happen because the governor has consistently told us that there is no way he will leave the PDP. If he leaves the PDP, people in Edo State will not be happy.

“And he is somebody I have that trust in that he will not leave the party. This is a party that clothed him. This is a party that when it was raining, gave him an umbrella,” he added.

Vanguard

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Source: Vanguard News.

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