Dave Umahi, the governor of Ebonyi State, has said that Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, does not need Nyesom Wike, the governor of Rivers State, to help him with logistics when he visits Rivers State to campaign.
On Tuesday, in Ishimbam land in Emohua Local Government Area in Rivers State, Umahi made these remarks.
Umahi declared, “My party, APC, certainly needs logistics. We have seen how you promised all the candidates’ logistics support.
“We don’t need logistics support; we need votes just for the presidential one only. All I am asking is that presidential one. I will not ask what is impossible.
“Keep the presidential votes for Asiwaju. He will be coming here to solicit votes….”
Umahi told Wike that history would be kind to him since he was a nationalist: “A man that is building bridges for the unity of this country, history will be kind to you.”
He claimed that Governor Wike of Rivers State was actively inviting stakeholders from across party lines to visit the state and was fighting for everyone who had betrayed him.
“You are a man with a lion’s heart,” Umahi said. “You have never picked a fight for yourself; it is always for the people. I remember when in 2019, you were fighting for somebody, someone that drove the first dagger against you, and you picked quarrels even with me.
“I told you the South-East would support your candidate, but you did not believe. You were angry with everyone when you narrowly lost the election for the guy.
“You insisted the convention should hold in Rivers. You have no reservations in supporting other people.
“I am an engineer, and I know the worth of projects and what you have done here. I will not be part of any campaign here other than the presidential campaign.
“I will not come. Your infrastructure is second to none. I thank you for what you are doing in Rivers.”
Wike spoke out, blaming the prolonged crisis shaking the PDP on the people who asked former President Goodluck Jonathan to give up his presidential ticket after he won to run for a second term in 2015.
Wike said ex-President Jonathan went to those chieftains of the PDP and appealed with them to return and work to guarantee that the party won the 2015 election, but they refused and insisted that he should give the ticket to them.
According to him, Jonathan personally pleaded with Atiku Abubakar, the current presidential candidate for the PDP, to return to the party during a meeting at the Dorchester hotel in London.
He said, “In Dorchester hotel (London), he (Jonathan) went to plead with this our presidential candidate today, Atiku Abubakar, to say, please my brother come back to the party and support me.
“You know the condition they gave to Jonathan; he should relinquish his ticket not to run as president of Nigeria. That was a sitting president and presidential candidate of a ruling party.”
Because he and the other governors who made up the “Integrity Group” wanted the PDP national chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, to step down, Governor Wike was confused about why people were suddenly clamouring for his head.
“We are not suggesting the presidential candidate should renounce the ticket, we are not being selfish. We are saying since you’re now the presidential candidate, let our people take chairmanship; they said they will kill me,” he said.
Wike clarified that the reason for his initial confrontation with Governor Umahi was not a personal one but rather to defend the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), whose mandate Umahi had transferred to the opposition.
He claimed he abandoned the lawsuit against Umahi because the PDP’s national leadership in Abuja had not included him in their deliberations over who should succeed Umahi as governor of Ebonyi State, even though he had hired the PDP’s lawyers.
“Let me publicly say most people thought that you and I were quarrelling; we are not on speaking terms. My dear folks, David Umahi, has no problem with me personally.
“If there is one governor that David Nwaeze Umahi is particularly close to, it’s me. I was defending our party when he took our mandate and ran away. And I said, my brother, bring back our mandate,” Wike remarked.
He elaborated on why he could not keep fighting for a party that didn’t value his efforts.
“But you see, in fighting for the party, there was nothing personal, even though the party you are fighting for turned around not to appreciate what you are doing.
“When you see Wike fighting, there is nothing personal about it, but it is for the party’s interest. And I have said all those fights is no longer necessary. I won’t continue to fight, and people will not appreciate,” he said.