Governor of Kano state, Abdullahi Ganduje has told Governor of Rivers state, Nyesom Wike that he would lose the 2023 presidency bid on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), advising him to wait till another time.
Ganduja said this while receiving Wike during his visit to the Government House Kano on Monday.
Wike was in the state to meet with PDP stakeholders ahead of the presidential primary elections scheduled for May 28/29 and to plead with his host to support his 2023 presidential ambition.
Governor Ganduje said Wike would not make a success of the bid, saying, “So, you have come to see your brothers and sisters. Good. You are aspiring for the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We see your efforts. And at the end of it, you’d lose, but you’ll be a good loser. I appreciate good losers, because they have courage. And since you are doing it peacefully, you’ll live long to fight again. I congratulate you, Mr ‘Wise’ Wike. Thank you and God bless.”
Meanwhile, Governor Wike has urged members of the National Working Committee (NWC) to support him as he did to them at the Abuja convention that brought in the new set of leaders.
Wike who assured he was the best candidate to defeat the APC in the 2023 contest, spoke on Tuesday while addressing the PDP NWC.
Wike charged the party leadership “to reward his loyalty to the party with the presidential ticket in the forthcoming party primary,” stressing that “those who couldn’t win their states for PDP in past elections should not be trusted with wining the Presidential election for the party.”
He also made a veiled reference to consensus being championed by the quartet of some presidential aspirants namely; Sokoto state Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Bauchi state Governor Bala Mohammed, immediate past Senate President Bukola Saraki and Mohammed Hayatou-Deeen.
The governor described himself as a “thorough party man,” adding that “if given the opportunity, he would liaise with the party in the day-to-day running of the government.”
He said, “So I believe I am a thorough party person and should be encouraged to lead the party. It’s very, very important. I know the modus operandi of APC; I can withstand the APC; I can withstand the federal government, just give me the ticket.
“When we did our convention in 2018, about 10 people contested. There was no consensus. Why are they talking about consensus?
“I don’t believe in these people going around on consensus. I told them that their consensus move is shine shine bobo; the more you look, the less you see. I say I am not going to buy it. It will not work and am not a party to it.
“I believe in consensus, but based on equity, justice and fairness. But not consensus by those who have conspired. They think they can bring me in, but nobody can bring me into it.”
The governor also warned that “the party hierarchy not to compromise free and credible exercise during the primaries to avoid litigations, as this will destroy the party.”
“I will also advise that this time we are in, is a litigation period. There is no election where you don’t see litigation, there is none. It will come. So that we don’t run into problems again, you should try as much as you can if you cannot vacate such an order, try as much as you can to assign people and settle it. There is no issue that cannot be resolved if you are open and transparent.
“The household name now is Wike, so don’t make mistake and lose Wike, because if you lose Wike, you have lost the election. It is not our prayer that we should lose the election.
“So it is important you do the campaign for me; that was how I did it for you too. When I was fighting the former NWC, some of you were supporting them. Now all of you are here.
“One good turn deserves another. So you people should also pay back, because you didn’t go to campaign, but now I am campaigning to you. So, pay back. But please do us the favour to conduct a free and fair election, that will be an advantage for us to win in 2023,” Wike said.
The PDP National Chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu in response, asked Governor Wike to choose between their support and providing a level playing field for all presidential aspirants.
Ayu said, “Incidentally, you want a level playing field from the National Working Committee (NWC). On the other hand, you want the NWC to canvass votes for you and vote for you. You have to choose one, you can’t have both.
“All our presidential aspirants should stick to issues, they should not attack themselves. By attacking each other, you undermine the party because you will give the opposition the necessary ammunition to attack us when the candidate emerges.”
Wike vs Ganduje
In 2020, during the Edo governorship election, Wike led the PDP team while Ganduje led the APC team to the state to rally support for their candidates.
Wike while reacting to media report quoting “one Ganduje” that he was going to isolate him while the campaign lasted, mocked Ganduje, saying he won’t be allowed to use his ‘dollars’ to influence the Edo governorship election.
Wike had said, “Yesterday, I was told and today I read on the pages of newspapers that one Governor Ganduje said that he is going to isolate me until the election is over.
“If Nigeria is supposed to be a country, who is supposed to be isolated? A man who pockets dollars in ‘babanriga’ from contractors is not isolated and you say that me should be isolated. In this country, where are we heading to?
“Let me tell you why they (APC) made Ganduje the chairman of the campaign council- it is because of the dollars they saw.
“What he doesn’t understand is that we are from the Niger Delta; we shall chop his dollar and we will chop him to a coma. So, Ganduje, your dollar will not work in Edo State, we have integrity in our party.”
Wike’s response might be connected with a video of the alleged bribe Ganduje was said to have received from an unknown contractor and stashed same in his pocket in 2018. Ganduje had since been cleared by a Federal High Court sitting in Kano which dismissed the case as lacking in substance.