Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state has attacked the former governor of Jigawa state, Sule Lamido, saying the latter has lost relevance politically.
Lamido had in a TV interview on Tuesday, August 23, said there was no need for any reconciliation between Wike and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, saying nobody wronged the Rivers governor.
However, Governor Wike in a statement through his media aide, Kelvin Ebiri, on Wednesday, August 24, described Lamido’s statement as disgusting and disdainful, The Punch reported.
The statement reads:
“We have observed with disgust the disdainful remarks made by the former governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Sule Lamido about Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, during his recent interview on Channels television.
“While, we cannot deny that Alhaji Lamido has an inalienable right to his personal opinion, we wish to declare that he, however, lacks the right to malign governor Wike, whose immense contributions to the sustenance of the Peoples Democratic Party are not in dispute.
“It is rather appalling that at a time when concerted efforts are being made by lovers of true democracy and the unity of the party, to resolve some inherent contradictions plaguing the PDP, Alhaji Lamido and his cohorts, who have since lost their relevance in the polity, are busy creating friction and schism.”
Ebiri said Governor Wike has never claimed to be the custodian of the over three million votes in Rivers state.
He, however, said the Rivers state governor has the capacity to sway Rivers votes and anyone who underrates his influence in the state will be doing so at his own peril.
“But as the leader of the PDP and good people of Rivers State, anyone who underrates the governor’s political pedigree or dares to ignore his influence in the state and beyond will be doing so at his own peril.
“We wish to remind Alhaji Lamido that governor Wike has never left anyone in doubt about his capacity to sway the voters in Rivers state in a direction that benefits the people and the state, in overall.
“When he speaks, Rivers people will listen, no doubt. Perhaps, Alhaji Lamido thinks Nigerians are suffering from selective amnesia to have forgotten in a hurry, the ignoble role he and his cohorts played between 2014 and 2015, that culminated in the defeat of the PDP in the 2015 general election.
“We hope that he is not up in such scheme again to cause a repeat of that history. Otherwise, if Alhaji Lamido has any modicum of conscience, he won’t be making disparaging comments about governor Wike, whom many have described as the pillar of the PDP since 2015,” he added.
Lamido has lost political relevance – Wike
Governor Wike through his media aide also said Lamido no longer has political relevance, noting that the PDP lost two governorship elections in Jigawa state under his watch.
“We wish to state without equivocation that no well-meaning member of the PDP will describe governor Wike as ‘insignificant’ in the affairs of the PDP. With all modesty, only persons plagued by schizophrenia psychosis will ascribe any form of relevance to Alhaji Lamido, under whose leadership the PDP has woefully lost two governorship elections in Jigawa State in quick succession.
“Under Lamido’s watch, as a governor of Jigawa State in 2015, the APC governorship candidate, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, scored a total 648,045 votes to defeat his PDP opponent, Malam Aminu Ringim, who scored a total 479, 447 votes. Worst still, in 2019, governor Abubakar polled 810,933, while the PDP candidate scored 288,356.
“Such records depict that Alhaji Lamido cannot and does not have such political following that will benefit the PDP. Those who want electoral victory for the PDP are not dampening the morale required for a political offensive at APC, but Alhaji Lamido is cracking the wall of unity badly.
“Let it be told that in 2015, governor Wike, as an opposition candidate in Rivers State polled 1,029,102 votes to defeat the then ruling APC governorship candidate, Dakuku Peterside, who managed to garner a paltry 124,896 votes.
“And in 2019, the governor also won by landslide. These are marks of political sagacity and determination to keep PDP at a leading pedestal.
“So, as the 2023 general elections beckon, we wish to advise Alhaji Lamido to redeem his battered political image by delivering Jigawa State to the PDP, if he can,” the statement read.
Though the statement comes amid the reports that Wike and the APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, met in London, the Rivers state governor did not comment about the reported meeting.
A former minister and Wike’s ally had reportedly confirmed that the Rivers governor indeed met with Tinubu, adding that there was nothing wrong about it.
“Atiku is also meeting with some APC governors, why are they complaining? What is good for the goose is good for the gander. It is all part of the game and nothing more,” the former minister was quoted as saying.