Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state has slammed Governor Nyesom Wike over the comment he made about Edo state Deputy Governor, Phillip Shuaibu.
Recall that Wike had accused Shuaibu of threatening the Peoples Democratic Party. He also said that the Deputy Governor must be disciplined by the opposition party.
“He is threatening the party that there is an alternative to the PDP. This is the same deputy governor that knelt down to beg for us to give them the umbrella. Today he has the effrontery to threaten the PDP. What a shame!
“When they were denied ticket under the APC they were running helter-skelter begging everybody to give them umbrella and we gave them the umbrella. We went and ensured they won that election.
“Today, that deputy governor will be ranting. A deputy governor will come out of the television to tell PDP that there is alternative. I have written to the Chairman of the party, if they don’t constitute a disciplinary committee against the deputy governor, I will invoke the sections of the party and ensure they discipline that deputy governor.
“He lost his ward during the election. It is unfortunate for our party. It is the first time I have seen a deputy governor come out of the television to threaten the party. Who is his father? Now that he has started the trouble, let him wait, we will make sure he never has rest.”
Reacting to this, Governor Obaseki stated that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is not the personal property of the Rivers governor.
Obaseki also said that he will not accept political bullies and overlords, reminding Wike how he had dethroned bullies and high-handed leaders.
Defending his deputy over his remarks about Edo PDP, the Edo state Governor said Wike should have taken a cue from the way the national chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, responded to Shaibu’s remarks.
He collaborated Shaibu’s complaint that “the leaders, executives and members” who defected along with him from the All Progressives Congress (APC) have not been accepted, integrated and harmonised into the Edo PDP.
Stating that the defectors were being vilified and ostracised by a cabal led by Chief Dan Orbih, Obaseki asked why Wike is always fond of threatening the party and party leaders.
The statement read;
The recent personal attacks by His Excellency, the Governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon. Nyesom Wike, against my Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu is, to say the least, most unfortunate and totally uncalled for.
If Governor Wike was one who is wont to show respect and courtesy to his colleague-governors, he would have ordinarily reached out to me to express his concerns about the views made by my deputy governor, rather than embarking on this unwarranted public onslaught.
My deputy governor was a former National President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and his comment is representative of the essence of the nation’s youth population, who are inclined to openly speak up and question the status quo.
If Governor Wike cannot understand and adequately respond to the style and character of the Nigerian youth, how can he aspire to lead them?
His Excellency, Governor Wike should have taken a cue from the manner in which the National Chairman of our party, Sen. Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, responded to my deputy’s remarks, as a conscientious leader who is able to show empathy and consideration.
The concerns expressed by my deputy governor bordered on pertinent issues affecting the PDP in Edo State which since the September 19th 2020 elections, has been able to register over 500,000 members; and till date, these new members have not been properly integrated into our party after two years.
Also, the leaders, executives and members who came with me into the party have still not been accepted, integrated or harmonized into the party.
More worrisome is the fact that old members of Edo PDP, who are open to inclusion and supportive of building a large party are being vilified and ostracized by a cabal purportedly led by Chief Dan Orbih, who is your perpetual guest in Port Harcourt and is remotely used to orchestrate the destabilization of the party in Edo State.
It is necessary to recall at this point that a political solution gave rise to the emergence of Chief Dan Orbih first as Acting and then as Substantive National Vice Chairman, South South, of our party, when Chief Emma Odidi resigned that position to allow Chief Orbih to ascend.
It is therefore curious why this type of political solution is no longer tenable to resolve the political impasse in Edo State PDP.
We can categorically state that in the comments of the deputy governor, he at no point threatened the party as Governor Wike has alleged. Rather, it is Governor Wike, who has at different times, threatened the PDP. Some of these instances include:
1. On September 16, 2018, Governor Wike threatened the party that there would be grave consequences if it moved the National Convention from Port Harcourt in the run up to the 2019 presidential election.
2. On September 12, 2019, Governor Wike also threatened to cause trouble for the party over the emergence of Hon. Ndudi Elumelu as the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.
Undoubtedly, Governor Wike has contributed to the advancement of the party, just like others, since 1999.
No one is against his desire to run for president, however, his ambition should not be embarked on in such a way that it would cause disruption at different levels, such as the PDP Governors’ Forum as well as different chapters of the party across the country.
It clearly amounts to delusion of grandeur, for any one man to nurse the idea that he owns or has more stake in the PDP and everyone should pander to him.
We are all equal stakeholders in the party and an aggregate of the ideas, opinions and contributions of all leaders and members should form the position of the party and not the view of one individual or a select few.
While Governor Wike is free to use his resources as he deems fit in pursuit of his ambition, he should not attempt to cow, intimidate, cajole and threaten others into doing his bidding. Edo State cannot and will not be procured for anyone’s personal ambition.
What Nigeria needs now are strong democratic institutions and not strong men; that is why we will join the great leaders of our party across the country to build PDP into a strong, large and indomitable party that will win next year’s presidential election.
Governor Wike and his collaborators headed by Chief Dan Orbih in Edo State will not succeed in destabilizing the PDP in Edo State as they did other states like Cross River just to secure delegates to actualize his alleged personal ambition to run for presidency in 2023.
In Edo, we don’t accept political bullies and overlords and historically, we have demonstrated our capacity to unshackle ourselves and dethrone bullies and highhanded leaders.
I appeal to all well-meaning leaders of our great party to call Governor Wike to order to desist from his current unguarded and disruptive tendencies. From all indications today, PDP is set to take over the leadership of Nigeria provided we can rein in the self interest of a few leaders to put the task of rescuing Nigeria above their personal ambitions.