Why I may work against Jonathan in 2023 —Wike

The governor of Rivers State, Mr Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, has said that he will not support former President, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, to return as the president of Nigeria in 2023 if he will not contest on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). 

There are speculations that the ruling party in Nigeria, the All Progressives Congress (APC), is making moves to woo the erstwhile president to join its fold and run on its ticket in the 2023 presidential election. 

Reacting to this speculation while speaking in an interview with BBC Pidgin, on Friday, Governor Wike said he was a member of the PDP and will not go against his political party when it is time for elections. 

He said there was no questioning his support if former President Goodluck Jonathan wins the presidential primaries of the PDP to fly the flag of the party. 

He noted that not supporting him would amount to anti-party action. In the same vein, if the former president wins the ticket of the APC, he will still not engage in anti-party activity by supporting Dr Jonathan against his own party. 

Governor Wike said: “I’m a member of the PDP. If he wins the ticket of the PDP at the primaries, there is no question about it. I will not engage in anti-party activity. If he gets the ticket of the APC, even he knows that I will not support him because I do not do anti-party activities. 

“He knows I won’t support him in APC even if he is from the south. I don’t play that kind of politics. It is our party we are talking about here; and I don’t play ethnicity.” 

On the rumours that he was also on his way to the APC, Governor Wike dismissed the rumour as an insinuation, saying he would not leave “a party that has malaria and head to a party that has cancer.” 

Wike said “I have malaria that is easy to treat and you want me to be seeking cancer.” 

In another development, Governor Wike has reacted to the claims by Niger Delta leader and a former President of the Ijaw Youth Council, Alhaji Mujahid Asari Dokubo, that he is a leader of a Biafra government and accused him of seeking relevance. 

The governor said Asari Dokubo should not be taken seriously, alleging that he speaks from both sides of the mouth, saying: “how could Dokubo, who is an Ijaw man and a former President of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), declare himself the leader of the Biafra government which is for the Igbos.”

Wike, who reacted to Alhaji Dokubo’s declaration while featuring on a Channels television programme, alleged that the Ijaw leader was not stable because, according to him, he sometimes worked for the Federal Government and at other times speaks against and attacks the same government. 

He said Dokubo was seeking cheap publicity with his declaration on the Biafra government, stating that he would rather focus on real challenges than respond to frivolities. He said In Nigeria, “we try to give publicity to things that do not matter. You know the antecedent of Asari Dokubo. 

But each time people like Dokubo come out to make statements, we try to publicise it. “Sometimes, he works for the Federal Government. Sometimes, he attacks the same federal government. I am one person that Asari Dokubo has always abused. But I won’t respond because I know his modus operandi. 

“He has accused us particularly me and my ethnic group that we are Igbos and that we have no oil well. But if you respond to that you will give him Publicity. “If he says he is now the chairman of Biafra, let us see the people he has. In fact, there are issues we should not discuss. It is too irrelevant, I won’t do it. Let’s focus on Nigerian challenges, not on frivolities”.



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