Atiku taking delegates for granted, says Wike

*Predicts shocking PDP presidential primary

By Joshua Omoloye, Abuja

Rivers State Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has predicted that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will conduct a thrilling presidential primary which outcome will shock Nigerians.

According to Kelvin Ebiri, his Special Assistant, Media, in a statement on Sunday, Wike said whoever that emerges of all the aspirants should rest assured that the entire party will rally round and make sure that he wins the 2023 presidential election.

Wike, who spoke in Port Harcourt on Sunday, said an alleged comment by former Vice President and PDP presidential candidate in the 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar, that he will always clinch the party ticket is like taking convention delegates for granted.

“I didn’t expect him frankly speaking to say that he will always take the ticket of the party. That is going too far and taking the delegates for granted,” he said.

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The governor, who urged PDP members to resist making divisive utterances, declared that the outcome of the party’s presidential election will shock many.

“People should watch. There will be shock as far as PDP convention is concerned. People should watch what is going to happen. People like to underrate so many persons and it is not good in politics.”

Pledging his commitment to ensuring that PDP returns to power in 2023, he assured Nigerians that the party would again start the process of rebuilding the nation after what he said were years of All Progressives Congress (APC) poor governance.

On the timetable just released by the Independent National Electoral Committee (INEC) timetable at the weekend, Wike expressed confidence that the National Executive Committee (NWC) of the PDP will ensure the party abides by it.

He remarked: “We are a law-abiding party. The party will soon meet, the NEC will meet and find the way forward on how we will put our house in order and make sure we religiously follow the timetable of INEC without violating any provision of the law and guidelines that INEC may have produced.”

Wike commended PDP leaderships in Plateau, Cross River and Ondo states for the performance of the party in last Saturday’s bye election.

He attributed the victory of the PDP in the Jos North/Bassa federal constituency in Plateau to the recent decision of a former governor of the state, Jonah Jang and an erstwhile Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FTC), Senator Jeremiah Useni, to set aside their differences and work for the interest of the party.

Wike also lauded the PDP for winning the Akpabuyo State Constituency bye-election in Cross River, irrespective of the violence allegedly unleashed by the APC government there.

He further commended a former governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, and other leaders of the PDP for the impressive performance of the party in Saturday’s bye-election. According to him, the prospects of the party in the 2023 general election remain bright.

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