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Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has declared he cannot support a consensus candidate within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the 2023 presidential election as proposed by four northern presidential contenders. He further described such a move as rubbish, and insisted that he would not be part of it.
While consulting with the party for his presidential ambition recently, Wike spoke in Calabar.
There have been consultations across the country between four presidential candidates, including former Senate president Bukola Saraki, Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed, Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal, and Mohammed Hayatu-Deen.
Gov. Wike criticized those asking for a consensus candidate, stating that the party must not submit to the demands of such candidates.
“I am not for that rubbish called consensus. They came to me, and I have told them bluntly that I am not party to it,” Wike said unequivocally.
The presidential candidate says he’s not even negotiating for the vice presidency but is absolutely running for the office of president.
“I am going round all the states in Nigeria to confirm that I will run for president of Nigeria. I am not going to negotiate for vice president but to win the PDP ticket and win the election.
“People have pressurised me to rather buy ticket for Senate. But I said I am quite fit and ready for the race. I am ready to demonstrate power and power to win the election, nothing more. I have more energy to dissipate,” he said.
While another presidential aspirant of the party, Peter Obi, has stated he is in support of any arrangement that the party makes in order to select its flag bearer, as long as it is fair, equitable, and inclusive. The statement was made by Mr. Obi during his visit to the PDP secretariat in Benin on Wednesday.
“For me, whatever arrangement you do, as long as it is fair, equitable, respect for every zone, show love and is inclusive, I stand by it. I believe in inclusiveness,” Obi said.
According to him, the insecurity, economic, and other crises in the country today are the cumulative effects of the failure of leadership over the years, adding that there is no country in the world that would go as far as Nigeria and not have problems.
Additionally, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State urged the party to embrace justice, fairness and equity in selecting its flag bearer for the upcoming general elections in 2023.
As Obasaki noted when he hosted Obi, “Edo will not be part of any arrangement that is not inclusive and equitable as the state is interested in achieving a united and progressive Nigeria.”
However, Anyim Pius Anyim, a former Senate president, has cautioned the party leadership not to do away with zoning.
Following the submission of his presidential nomination and expression of interest forms at the PDP secretariat, Anyim addressed members of the National Working Committee of the party, stating that he would obey the party’s decision.
Moreover, he asserted that democracy thrives on three certainties: “certainty of tenure, certainty of structure, and certainty of process”. At any time any of these ‘certainties’ is no longer guaranteed, democracy will corrupt justice and enthrone inequity.”
Additionally, he stated: “My appeal is that zoning being a fundamental principle of our party, should not be jettisoned. Democracy, being a system of rules and order, depends on strong institutions for its sustenance and success. When a system can no longer defend its rules, it will enthrone the reign of might as against the rule of law.”