Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has reiterated that he will not join the All Progressives Congress, despite its stance on zoning the presidency to the south.
The governor, who described the insinuations that he will defect to the APC as speculative, maintained that he remained an unrepentant member of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Governor Wike stated these at the 114th quarterly general meeting of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers in Port Harcourt, the state capital on Monday.
He informed the council ahead of Saturday’s presidential election that he would be voting for only the candidate that could guarantee the unity of the country.
Wike said, “I am not a member of the APC and I will not be. But, they have made me to recognise that they are the heroes of this country.
“The governors came out to say look, for the unity of this country, presidency should go to the south.
“The governors of the APC said the way the country is, they want the unity of this country and therefore, the presidency should go to the south.
“They could have as well said no, it doesn’t matter. As governors, we have the number. We can still say it should remain where it should remain. But they didn’t do that.
“They said the way we are seeing this country we want everybody to be together.
“Let no one say because I have the population, therefore, you will continue to dominate. In dominating you need peace, without peace you cannot govern.”
Speaking on the crisis in the PDP, the governor stated that Rivers State had helped to sustain the party right from the era of former Governor Peter Odili down to his administration.
Therefore, he insisted that it was wrong for a section of the country to deny other people the opportunity to participate in presiding over the affairs of the nation.
“We are all Nigerians and we want the unity of this country. We want Nigeria to move forward as a united country.
“Rivers State has always been in support of one Nigeria and we’ll continue to support one Nigeria. But in doing that, we believe in equity, we believe in justice, we believe in fairness.
“As the governor of this state, I will vote for the unity of this country. I will vote for anything that will unite Nigeria.
“I will not support anything that will divide Nigeria. And that is what necessitated the principle of live and let’s live.
“If only one person continues to live, things will not be good. It’s not about party, it is about Nigeria. I am a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, unrepentant member, who, in fact, built this party when people ran away,” he stated.
He explained that the reason why he had been one of the arrowheads of those agitating inclusivity in the PDP was because of his belief in the unity of the country.
According to him, a strategic state like Rivers cannot be relegated to play second fiddle in the country.
Wike said though he did not encourage traditional rulers’ involvement in politics, he urged them to support the PDP governorship candidate, Sir Siminialayi Fubara, who he formally presented to the council, for the continuity of the developmental strides recorded by his administration since 2015.
“In the next few months, I will be former (governor). But former in a big way. My transition will be smooth, there will be no crisis.
“Don’t make mistake to go and vote for another person. You want to distort everything we have done, and then our state will go backward. Let’s allow continuity.”
The Chairman of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, His Majesty, King Dandeson Jaja, Jeki V, Amanyanabo of Opobo, thanked the governor for the respect he had accorded the council since his assumption of office.