The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Friday, claimed that the Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, allegedly made false statements during his recent interview on Arise TV.
In addition, he stated that the former vice president had not yet started the process of reconciliation, despite assertions made on newspaper pages that a committee had been formed to meet with him.
Wike explained at a press conference for media at the Port Harcourt International Airport.
“He (Atiku) appeared on Arise Television, see the statement he made. So many lies were told and you said I should not react to some of those issues. That would not be fair,” the Rivers state governor claimed.
There were reports that the crisis in the PDP camp deepened when Atiku chose the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, as his running mate ahead of Wike whom many party chieftains had believed would emerge as the PDP’s vice-presidential candidate.
Those who opposed Atiku’s choice include the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom.
The governor had on June 29, 2022, during an interview on Arise TV, said Wike and others who backed the Rivers governor for the PDP vice-presidential ticket slot deserved a detailed explanation from the party’s presidential candidate on his choice of running mate.
Ortom said it was surprising that Atiku could jettison the recommendation of 14 out of 17 members of the committee that recommended Wike as his running mate.
“I am waiting for him (Atiku) because there are more things he is expected to do. I expected him to reach out to Wike who came second and he denied him the popular view of PDP members.
“14 out of 17 members say that Wike should be the VP but in his wisdom, he chose Governor Okowa. Governor Okowa is a nice man and my friend and I have no problem with him.
“But if we are in a democratic era, and 14 people out of 17 said that it should be Wike, and he (Atiku) in his wisdom gave it to Okowa, I expect more explanation, I expect him to talk to Wike first, I expect him to even reach out to some of us so that together we can work as a party,” Ortom said.
But speaking in an exclusive interview with Arise TV which was aired last week Friday, Atiku said he chose who he felt could deliver among the nominees that were presented to him.
He added that Wike was not rejected and that he only picked who could deliver.
However, in his first reaction to the controversy after Okowa’s emergence on Saturday, Wike who tweeted via his official Twitter handle @GovWike noted that he would soon speak on recent happenings in the party.
“I will speak soon and Nigerians will know the actual truth of all that has transpired in the PDP in recent times,” the Rivers governor said.