First, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State broke ranks with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by congratulating President Muhammadu Buhari on his victory at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal over the PDP and its candidate in last February’s Presidential election, Atiku Abubakar.
He has explained why he went public in congratulating President Muhammadu Buhari after Buhari was declared the valid winner by the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal on Wednesday.
At the burial service of late Madam Blessing Awuse, mother of a PDP chieftain, in Emohua, Rivers State, Wike said, “I am sure all of you are surprised that I congratulated Buhari.
“Is it not good for me to congratulate him than to go to his house in the night?
“Many PDP governors go to see him in his house in the night. I have never gone and I will not go. I won’t go.
“We are the only state that the Federal Government refused to pay us our money used to execute federal projects because I don’t go to see him in the night and I won’t go.
“He is not my friend; he is not doing well, but he won in court.
“Should I say that the court did wrong? No.
“President Buhari, congratulations and carry Nigerians along.Unify the country; the country is too divided.
“I am saying what is right. What I will do, I will do; what I will not do, I will not do.”
On Wednesday in Port Harcourt, the Governor, a strong PDP member, described a committee of the party, consisting past Senate Presidents and National Assembly leaders, as the most corrupt in the history of the party.
Wike has also boasted that the State Government has all it takes to fight his own party to a standstill.
Many wonder; will he do it and what has gone wrong to make Wike seek to draw a battle line with the party that brought him to power?
While the PDP was bitterly lamenting its predicament in the hands of the five-man tribunal that threw out the five issues Atiku Abubakar brought before It, Wike congratulated Buhari and asked him to use the opportunity of his victory at the courts to better the lives of Nigerians.
In Port Harcourt on Wednesday, Wike applauded former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Austin Opara, for withdrawing his membership of the Iyorchia Ayu-led probe panel that has former Senate Presidents David Mark, Adolphus Wabara, Deputy Senate President Ibrahim Mantu as members.
The panel is probing the emergence of two leaderships for the Minority Caucus of the House of Representatives. While one, recognised by House leadership, is headed by Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, the other has Hon. Kingsley Chinda. Chinda is from Rivers State, while Elumelu is from Delta.
In Wike’s words, “The Committee set up by the PDP on the illegal emergence of Ndudi Elumelu is the most corrupt committee ever set up by the party.
“We thank our worthy son, Rt Hon Austin Opara for withdrawing from that committee, so that he is not entangled in the illegal activities of the tainted committee “.
“We are warning PDP to be careful not to toy with Rivers State. Rivers State has all it takes to withstand the PDP and fight the party to a standstill.
“The Rivers State Governor is not one of those Governors that anyone can cajole.
“The Rivers State Governor is not one of those Governors that will kowtow to their illicit activities “.
Governor Wike is said to be angry because Chinda was jettisoned by the panel and the party because he is from the same State as National Chairman, Mr. Uche Secondus.
However, other sources say Wike is not happy with the way his choice for presidential candidate for the party, Governor Aminu Tambuwal, was outsmarted by the Atiku Abubakar political machinery in presidential primaries that held “right under his nose” in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital last year
That, coupled with huge funds he believes he has committed to the party without commensurate dividends, is said to be the reason he is acting at cross-purposes with the party.