The political difference between the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and his Edo State counterpart, Godwin Obaseki, appears not to be over yet as Wike, yesterday, shunned the Edo State Government House while in the state as part of his consultations with delegates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), ahead of the party’s convention to pick its candidate for the 2023 presidential elections.
Wike also refused to visit the Edo PDP party secretariat but rather paid a courtesy visit to the palace of the Oba of Benin and then met with party delegates at the Benin residence of the late former Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the PDP, Chief Tony Anenih.
At the palace of the Oba of Benin, Wike said if elected president, he would focus on checking insecurity with massive investment in intelligence gathering, insisting that it was only in a secure environment that economic activities, agriculture and investment in infrastructure could thrive.
He said, “I was here one and a half years ago as the DG (Director General) of the campaign for the re-election of Governor Obaseki but I am here today not on behalf of anybody but of myself and my team to seek your prayers.
“I have come to Benin to talk to the delegates of our party that will be part of our national convention by May 28th and 29th. The way our country has fared, Nigeria needs somebody that will see white and say it is white and will see black and say that it is black.
“If the PDP gives me the ticket, I have enough experience to tackle Nigeria’s myriad of problems, having been a local government chairman, Minister of State overseeing Education and now governor.
“The major issue confronting Nigeria, today, is insecurity and without security, no other activity can function and what we need to tackle insecurity is intelligence gathering, which is lacking. We are not going to sit down and give excuses, but we will take action and spend resources to gather intelligence.”
In his reaction, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, while lauding the competence and capacity of the Rivers governor based on what he had done as governor, urged political leaders to promote and ensure sustenance of the African culture and traditions, which he said the colonial masters tried to erase after discovering that Benin Kingdom and others had a superior administration and civilisation than them.
On Wike’s ambition, he said, “Wike is our son, we love him and if I say so, I believe I am speaking on behalf of our ancestors. We will keep praying for him so that he does not come across anybody that will mislead him, that will mis-inform him and may he and his family not come across harm. We must continue to hold on to our traditions and customs because of its superiority over others.”