Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike on Monday slammed some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirants for alleged opposition to Port Harcourt as venue for the party’s National Convention October 5 and 6.
According to the governor, such aspirants, by their action, showed “they are against the economic interest of the state and Niger Delta,” saying such aspirants have failed to live up to their campaign for the restructuring of the country.
PDP is billed to hold a convention to elect its presidential candidate on October 5 and 6 in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital. Thirteen aspirants are jostling for the ticket.
The Port Harcourt venue, endorsed by some aspirants, has not gone down well with other aspirants.
Describing the opposition to Port Harcourt as strange, Wike said there was no other way to explain such cold feeling towards holding the convention in Port Harcourt apart from the fact that the aspirants involved had no economic interest of Rivers and Niger Delta at heart.
He said: “Those who are against the PDP convention holding in Port Harcourt don’t have the the economic interest of Rivers and Niger Delta at heart.
“If you are telling the people of the state and by extension Niger Delta that you don’t want such event to hold in their domain as an aspirant, how will you act when you become a president? How do you expect the people you are telling that you don’t like their state to vote for you during the election?”
The governor described as worrisome that the same people who have been traversing the length and breadth of the country calling for the restructuring of Nigeria were kicking against the choice of Port Harcourt as venue for the convention.
He asked: “Why are they not acting in tandem with their campaign for the restructuring of Nigeria? From their opposition to Port Harcourt, it means the restructuring campaign is a mere lip service”.
All the aspirants, he said, will enjoy a level playing field, insisting that the choice of Port Harcourt is not meant to give any aspirant an edge over others.
The governor said: “Every aspirant will be given a level playing field.
Holding the convention in Port Harcourt does not mean anybody will have undue advantage. What it will do for the state is that it will boost its local economy because groundnut, sellers of water in satchets and food vendors will have more sales. Hoteliers will also record increased business.
“That is the only thing Rivers State stands to gain from holding the convention in Port Harcourt. And anybody who is against Port Harcourt hosting the event does not like the state. He is against the economic interest of the state”.
According to Wike, the person who will emerge the candidate of the party will emerge on the basis of his political clout and not on any other consideration.
He said that what PDP members need at the moment “is not to bicker over the choice of convention venue but to work in unity to achieve the goal of the party which he said is to wrest power from the governing All Progressives Congress (APC).
“We need to work together, we don’t need any division at this moment. Our goal must be to win in 2019.”
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