Nyesom Wike, the governor of Rivers State, spoke candidly on Friday about the circumstances behind Atiku Abubakar’s selection as the People’s Democratic Party’s Presidential candidate during the PDP primaries.
According to reports, Wike, who was defeated by Atiku for the presidential nomination in the May primaries, has so far declined to work with Ayu.
He claimed that if it weren’t for their love forthe main opposition party, they could have stopped the PDP convention from happening.
Wike, who made this disclosure during a media debate, claimed that Iyorchia Ayu, the PDP’s national chairman, played a crucial role that hurt other candidates when Atiku was chosen as the party’s nominee.
The governor claimed that during convention, Ayu called a number of presidential candidates to resign in favor of the former vice president.
“He was calling aspirants to withdraw for Atiku. I was there, Saraki and others were there.
“He manipulated the delegates. There was nothing Ayu did not do to ensure Wike didn’t emerge,” Wike said.
The governor added, “Meetings upon meetings were going. Pressures were being mounted on people to step down.
“Even on the night of the convention meetings were going on. That is why we started our convention late.
“Some of the retired generals were involved. Some of the meetings were held in their houses. There is nothing they didn’t do for me to step down.
“Those who know me, know that I would have stopped the convention, even if heaven falls.”
According to reports, after a meeting on Wednesday morning at Wike’s private mansion in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Wike’s camp decided not to participate in the campaign council that was supposed to be inaugurated the following Wednesday.
In a statement that he personally signed in response to the resignation from his campaign council on Wednesday, Atiku repeated his resolve not to become involved in the calls for Ayu’s dismissal.