2023 Elections: Ekpenyong slams Wike over PDP crisis

September 6, 2022
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The Senator representing Akwa Ibom North-West, Chris Ekpenyong, has berated Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State over the crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Naija News reports that the Rivers governor is angry over the manner of his loss to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar at the presidential primary and the failure of the former Vice President to pick him as running mate.

Governor Wike and his camp have demanded the resignation of the PDP National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, in order to resolve the party’s internal wranglings.

However, Ayu has rejected the demand made by the Rivers governor, stressing that he will not resign from his position.

In an interview with Vanguard over the weekend, Ekpenyong said Wike has not made his demands known to the public and to the party’s presidential candidate.

The lawmaker, however, refuted the claim by the governor that the South does not hold any position in the party, saying that the vice presidential candidate, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, is from the region.

He said: “Wike hasn’t made his demands public. Has he made them known to the presidential candidate? I tried to reach out to Prof Jerry Gana yesterday, Friday, and other founding fathers on what Wike wants. I am from the South-South where Wike comes from. And he has been saying the South has nothing in PDP. That is not true.

“We have a vice presidential candidate, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, who is from Delta State. PDP is strong in Cross River, Rivers, Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom. If Wike alone, who is from Rivers State has any misgiving, he hasn’t told the South-South caucus of the party. He should have told us what he wants but he hasn’t.’

Wike’s Alleged Arrangement With Tinubu

Reacting to Wike’s arrangement with Tinubu, Ekpeyong said it is will be unwise for the Rivers governor to stay in the PDP and work for the presidential flagbearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu.

The lawmaker also wondered how Wike will tell all PDP members in Rivers and parts of the South-South not to vote for Atiku and Okowa in the 2023 presidential election.

He said: “I have called Prof Jerry Gana and asked him what Wike wants, he said he doesn’t know. I don’t see how Wike can come to my senatorial district and tell people not to vote for PDP. If he has bargained with Tinubu, he hasn’t bargained with me.

In the new arrangement he is making, is he going to move with the governorship candidate of PDP in Rivers State? Is he also moving with the National Assembly members from Rivers? I am in the Senate and I know he nominated those who would go to the Senate. He didn’t give form to some to return.

I want to see how Wike will tell all PDP members in Rivers not to vote for Atiku. I want to see how he would convince people in Delta not to vote for their son.

“Does he want Okowa to step down so that he would be happy? Even when Chief Bode George said the party hasn’t been fair to the South, is Okowa not from the South? Let us win the election and share offices afterwards. Let us win the war first. Whatever Wike does, PDP will win in 2023. There is something WIke wants that we don’t know.”

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