he Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike has been cautioned not to play God. He was cautioned by Dr Daniel Bwala, one of the spokespersons in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential campaign council on Friday.
The caution followed a media chat by Governor Wike, who dropped bombshells on the PDP; the presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar; the party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu and many others, taking the wrangling in the party to a different dimension.
Reacting, Dr Bwala disclosed that the presidential candidate of the PDP had cautioned his supporters not to respond to the ranting by the Rivers State Governor, stressing that the Governor is one of the pride of the PDP.
“Yeah,” Dr Bwala responded when he was asked if there was a gag for Atiku’s supporters not to respond to the Rivers State Government. Bwala went on to say: “That speaks to the maturity our presidential flagbearer possesses, and continues to pursue as a strategy for reconciliation”.
The spokesperson further disclosed that Atiku, however, did not say his supporters should not talk, but that he directed that “nobody should engage with Wike to the point of insulting him or denigrating him”.
He revealed that “the reason is because negotiations are always open; because the political process, it is not over until it is over. At any given time, even at the eleventh hour, there is still room for reconciliation”.
“The reason why I am here tonight is because at the meeting today, so much was said. So much was said to the point where we have a lot of people who want a reaction and the quietness is sort of suggesting to the people as though the party for all intent and purposes has offended Wike and all the facts as adduced by him are correct.
“Like we have always said, Wike is one of our pride. Wike is PDP through and through. Everything Wike has and he is today is because of PDP. In other words, he is a beneficiary of the party. We are proud that apart from benefiting from the party, he has also demonstrated that he is somebody who believes and is acting out development in the party.
“However, there are so many facts that need to be clarified and we think that it would be necessary [to do so] for the purpose of history and posterity,” Bwala said on Channels TV Politics Today programme on Friday evening after Wike’s bombshells.
Speaking on the alleged betrayal of Governor Wike by Atiku, Ayu and the Governor of Sokoto, Aminu Tambuwal, Bwala said: “I think that probably only today he is mentioning the individuals he mentioned.
“But, I know in the past he has also mentioned people like the entire governors of the South South when he said his own brothers betrayed him. Before then, he has also said that governors in the South East betrayed him at some points. He has in the past said Dave Umahi who left the party betrayed him. He has said Ben Ayade who left the party to APC also betrayed him.
“It appears to me that everybody around him has betrayed him as long as he doesn’t have his way and that is with great respect to him. Because if I take you back to memory lane, you will agree with me that at least the last three party chairmen he brought them and there were times he had problems with them and he insisted they had to go.
“So, why is it that everybody is betraying you in life? He has recently said even some of the stakeholders in his own State betrayed him. There is virtually nobody who he has not said betrayed him once you disagree with him.
“To us, that is not good for a political party. With respect to the party structure, so much is being said about Iyorchia Ayu as the chairman of the party, I think Nigerians need to know, what is it about Iyorchia Ayu that he has to leave?
“Because if we are going to ponder on what we hear everyday even from the party, there is this wide-held belief that he wants to run in 2027 for the presidency and for him to succeed in that, he has to put a chairman.
“Those who have furnished facts to support it. For example, Peter Obi moved to Labour Party and obidient movement came as a result of the conduct of Governor Wike because Peter Obi was frustrated out of the party in Anambra State by Chris Ubah, owing to the position that was held by Governor Wike as people are saying.
“The whole gamut of power zoning here or there started with Governor Wike. He virtually had everything he wanted. He brought this chairman and when a discussion was being done that power should be zoned, I recall very well that Atiku Abubakar said if the power, if it was going to be zoned, he was inclined that it would be zoned to either South East or North East because these are the two geo-political zones that have not benefitted.
“Then he said if it was ever going to be zoned to the South East, he was not going to run. The movement then was that it should be micro-zoned to the South East among stakeholders from the South East. He frustrated it because he was interested. He influenced the emergence of leaders that sat in committees, whether committees for party positions or committees for elective offices.
“At his behest, a recommendation was made that it should be made open, evidently because he is not from the South East. That lead to the departure of Peter Obi. Otherwise, Peter Obi today, if the zoning thing was followed, Peter Obi or the former SGF would have emerged as the presidential candidate of the party.
“The idea that frustrated Peter Obi out was because there was never going to be an opportunity for the South East. If there was, he could have stayed because he believes in his popularity. When it was thrown open, Atiku decided to participate because if you leave it open, that means everybody has the right to participate.
“During the electioneering process, Governor Wike was overwhelmingly convinced that he was going to win. You will recall he went round the country. On that day, remember what he said. “I am a loyal party member. I will abide by the decision of the party. Whichever way it goes, I will support the party”.
“So, when you talk about betrayal, you also need to look at whether you have betrayed yourself, betrayed the party or betrayed the people. Because a political party is a party for everyone.
“Because he is a Christian I will probably have the luxury of quoting scriptures, otherwise, I would have considered sensibility. The scripture says God gives power to whomsoever He wills. The minute you start play… it is good to be rich and to be stupendously rich and be helpful but the one thing God does not share is when you begin to take His place.
“How do you take the place of God? Where nothing moves except you are in it, nothing moves except you direct it. He talked about equity, fairness and justice. That has been the cliche and the hallmark of his campaign.
“But, in his State, the chairman of the party and the governorship candidate are from the same senatorial district. In his State, the very individual that decided to pick a form to run for Senate when he has not given the approval, what happened to the person? The person was held in custody. In his very State, he bought forms for aspirants.
“The spirit of fairness and equity has been the cliche that has been pushed. The last president in the PDP came from the South. The next president in PDP should come from the North. That is the spirit and intentment of that constitution.
“Talking about the national chairman, there was a committee that was formed to zone. The party’s constitution provides for the national working committee to create committees to deliberate on issues in accordance with the law.
“When this committee was formed, the chairman of this committee was a lose ally to Wike. That committee came up with a recommendation that that should be zoned. Atiku had no impact on that matter.
“When the committee came to deliberate on the zoning of elective offices, remember, the chairman of that committee is also a close ally of Wike. At every material time, that the party took decisions, at least in the last few times that we know, they were decisions that were taken in the believe that Wike should have his way.
“That is why I said it is not good to play God. From the look of things [Wike is playing God] because in how many months we have been now, it is just Wike. The flagbearer has never said anything and has said nobody should insult him.
“This party was formed; the founding fathers of the party; this Iyorchia Ayu and Atiku, they are members of the founding foundations and even if they left, they still had to come back.
“Let me tell you why you can’t play God. Atiku left the party, it survived. Ayu left the party, it survived. If Wike leaves, the party will survive. Obasanjo is not in PDP, it survived. You need to understand and know the limit of your operations and influence,” Bwala argued.