By Mike Odiegwu, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has traced the anger of his Ebonyi State counterpart, David Umahi, against the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to the point Peter Obi was chosen as the Presidential Running Mate to the party’s 2019 Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
Wike, who spoke in a live television programme, also advised Umahi not to allow his quest to become president of Nigeria, destroy the South-East politically.
He said: “When we had the 2018 convention that produced our Presidential Candidate then, the Waziri of Adamawa, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, as presidential candidate, he consulted widely, and came up with Peter Obi, to be his Vice, Umahi was livid because he wanted to produce or he wanted to be Vice-President.
“You don’t choose who would be the Vice-Presidential candidate of anybody. Umahi was livid. What disturbs me, why do you think that if anything comes to South-East it must be you? Why do you think so?”
Wike said while no one would deny Umahi the right to pursue his political aspiration, which he said was the primary reason for his defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC), he should be mindful of the political future of the South-Eastern region.
He said Umahi had shown himself as an ungrateful man for insisting that he left PDP to protest the injustice the party meted to the South-Eastern region since 1999.
Wike said Umahi could not talk of injustice when he singlehandedly installed his two younger brothers as the Zonal Vice-Chairman of PDP and the Deputy State Chairman of the party.
He said: “If he believes in equity and justice, will he be doing such? It is because he has planted these people that the State House of Assembly had such effrontery to give the National Working Committee (NWC) ultimatum to zone the presidency to the East. Where does such a thing happen? No other party has done any zoning. You can imagine the level of selfishness. ”
He also described as untrue the claim by Umahi that he made PDP in the southeast zone as the only financier of all of its activities.
He said such a claim suggested that other governors of Anambra, Abia, and Enugu states were not doing anything to ensure the success of the party in the zone.
Wike said: “I know it’s not correct. If not for Pius Ayim that impressed it on former Governor Elechi, would Umahi have become governor? So, he can’t say he’s the one who has built PDP.
“The party made him what he is and if he denies it, it only tells you the kind of person he is. What’s even his contribution at the national level of the party to support his claim? Where was he when people like Alex Ekwueme fought General Abacha and built the party? I distaste such arrogance”.
Wike dismissed the allegation against him by Umahi that he was a dictator, who imposed, Uche Secondus as PDP National Chairman and his will on the party.
He described the allegation as spurious saying evidence abound that Secondus was elected at the National Convention of the PDP.
The governor accused his Ebonyi State counterpart of being treacherous explaining that when the caucus of the party decided that Kingsley Chinda should be elected Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Umahi told his State Reps to work against it.
Wike further stated that when PDP loyal members tried to rescue the party from the destructive tendencies of Modi Sheriff, Umahi was one of those who was frolicking with him.
“We fought and won and Modi Sheriff left. I can say that I am one of those who made sure that PDP never died. I feel comfortable with my performance in my State. Rivers people are comfortable with me too.
“For the first time before PDP left office, they (South East) have never had Chief of Army Staff. They have had Senate Presidents. They have had national Chairman of the Party; they have had Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
“They have had Minister of Finance. Now, tell me what APC has given to the people of South-East since 2015, Minister of Labour, Minister of Science and Technology, and Minister of Foreign Affairs.
“Three Senators from his state said they have seen the need for South-East to produce a president. However, it is not the way our governor is going about. This is not a personal thing. Your ambition should not destroy the entire South East.”