PDP Lacks Wherewithal To Dislodge APC-Wike

 

By DAPO FALADE

Rivers State Governor,  Nyesom Woke, has declared that the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as it currently operates, lacks the capacity to take over the reins of governance from the All Progressives Congress (APC).

This was as he accused the National Working Committee of sowing seed of discord among PDP governors and jeopardising the party’s prospect at clinching the presidency in 2023.

The Rivers State governor also warned that the integrity of President Muhammadu Buhari was at stake if he fails to honour invitation of the House of Representatives to address the growing concern about the spate of insecurity across the country.

Wike, while speaking on a live television programme in Port Harcourt, on Friday, said it was regrettable that instead of capitalising on the inefficiency and maladministration that has characterised the APC’s five years in power, the PDP NWC is deepening cracks in the party.

“PDP ought to have harvested from the inefficiency of the APC; from the maladministration of the APC. Ordinarily, that is what opposition party ought to do.

“If you ask me, are Nigerians waiting for a change? Yes. If you ask me as a member of PDP, am I ready to support the PDP to takeover, yes. But, if you ask me currently as it is, is the leadership of the party willing for us to harvest this opportunity for a change, I will say no,” he said.

The governor said, rather than focus on strategies on how to take advantage of the growing disenchantment with the APC government, the PDP NWC is sowing seed of discord among governors, allegedly using two former governors of Imo and Cross River states and a serving senator from Benue State.

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“An opposition party that ought to be united, to work, to take over the affairs of government, because people are waiting for this opportunity, but the current leadership of NWC is not prepared for that.

“Rather, what they have done is to constitute some people to sow  seed of discord among governors for their own selfish interest. And that will boomerang; that will consume them,” he warned.

The governor said he will continue to do whatever he can, to ensure the survival of the PDP because he lacked the ability to defect to the APC or another political party.

“I will not allow anybody to kill the PDP. They have capacity to move to the APC. I don’t and I cannot move to the APC. So, anybody that tries to do something to destroy PDP, I will not allow you. Anybody that I see that has the trait to destroy the PDP, I will not allow it,” he added.

He described as disingenuous the decision of the PDP NWC to jettison the recommendations of Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom-led committee set up to reconcile the party in Niger and Plateau states, just because of its vested interest in Niger State.

The governor accused the current leadership of NWC of the party of merely being interested in retaining current structure of the party to remain in power, and not to win the 2023 elections.

“The present NWC is not interested or doing anything to take over the reins of government in 2023. When your interest is to remain in power, you are no longer interested to win election,” he said.

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Wike also said the level of insecurity leading to deaths, particularly in Borno State and other parts of the country, ought to have compelled President Buhari to keep his promise of honouring the invitation by the House of Representatives.

He pointed out that the APC members who control majority in the National Assembly moved the motion to invite the president to address them on what measures are being taken to tackle and end the spate of violent killings, to which he consented.

He said it was wrong for the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation to turn around to subject the invitation to legal interpretation, instead of protecting the integrity of the president which is now at stake.

“There is insecurity. People are dying. You don’t go by legal approach to solve that problem. If Mr President had given the assurance, saying ‘my integrity is at stake, therefore I will go’, that decision was not taken without talking first to his inner cabinet.

“It is not a question and answer session. You go with a brief to address the congress. To say, ‘see where it was when we came, see where we are today. Yes, we have not achieved what we thought, but what we require from everyone is cooperation’.

“For me, I think this is not the period to be legalistic. This is the period every Nigerian should be concerned about what is happening.

“Just this morning (Friday), I heard that 16 people were killed on Abuja-Kaduna road yesterday. Look at the loss of life in Borno State. Senate has said ‘look, Mr President, relief all Service Chiefs, which means they are concerned about the security situation in the country’,” he said.

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He further stated that if he were the Attorney General of the Federation, he would have advised the president privately and urge him to write a letter to the House of Representatives that he would come at a later day because of the exigency of his office.

To end the spate of violent crime in the country, Governor Wike recommended the creation of employment opportunities for youths and drastic change to operational system of policing in the country.

He insisted that states must be allowed to be involved in the community policing, which he alleged has already been hijacked by APC members.

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