Okafor Ofiebor/ Port Harcourt
Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has accused former governor of Niger State, Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu of being a mole of the ruling party in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He said it is unfortunate that the PDP has continued to allow the former Niger State governor to remain a member of its highest decision making body after he publicly confessed to working alongside others to frustrate former President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term bid in 2015.
According to a statement signed by Kelvin Ebiri, the Special Assistant on Media to the quotes governor Wike as saying this during a media chat at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Monday.
The governor dared those who have been insinuating that he wants to contest for PDP presidential ticket in 2023 because of his tirelessness in delivering dividends of democracy to the people of Rivers State, to prove he has declared such intention to them. He, however reiterated nobody can intimidate him from contesting for the PDP presidential ticket if he decides to.
Wike stressed that it was disturbing that while governors and other stakeholders are working assiduously to strategically position the PDP to takeover the realm of power in 2023, the likes of Aliyu are working as All Progressives Congress (APC) moles in PDP.
“Aliyu Babangida is a mole in PDP. These are people who get information and in the night they go to the ruling party (APC) and give them the information.”
Governor Wike declared that contrary to insinuation by Babangida, there does not exist any frosty relationship between him and the PDP national chairman, Uche Secondus.
According to him, in politics, people are bound to disagree on certain issues, but that cannot be misconstrued as a rift in their relationship.
“The same Aliyu in 2017 was one of those who opposed Secondus to be Chairman of the party. He only came on board at the dying minute when he knew Secondus was coasting to victory.”
The governor also clarify that he was not aware if the PDP national chairman has disagreement with stakeholders of the party in Rivers State.
He stressed that if there existed any form of conflict between Secondus and others stakeholders in the State, the national chairman would have made it known to all concern.
Governor Wike said Babanigda has recently embarked on a campaign of calumny against him is because he has refused to invite him to Commission some of his legacy projects in Rivers State.
He maintained that only former governors and incumbent ones who have delivered or are delivering democratic dividends in their states are qualified to inaugurate projects in Rivers State.
Reacting to Babangida’s accusation that he was a dictator in the PDP, the governor said it was rather disingenuous for a man who has refused to allow a credible party congress take place in Niger State to cast aspersion on him.
“In 2015, what happened to him, he insisted his own boy will be governor. In 2019, he insisted again and PDP lost. Who is the dictator? Up till now, the reason why the State (Niger) congress cannot take place is because he wants to dictate who will be chairman of the party.”
He further continued: “We have been working hard in Rivers State to see we don’t have the ruling APC in Rivers state. Ask Aliyu if he can do the same in Niger State. If there is election today, can he make PDP to win in Niger state? As I speak to you, no state congress has been held in Niger state. It is because of his dictatorial tendency.”
The governor described Babangida’s recommendation that the NWC of the PDP should suspend him from the party as childish. He stressed that if the former Niger State governor has any modicum of self esteem, even as a liability to PDP, he would have been circumspect and refrain from making denigrating comments against one whose state has accounted for highest votes gotten by the PDP since 1999.
To buttress his claim that Babangida is a liability to the PDP, Governor Wike noted that in 2015 while serving as a governor of Niger State, the PDP lost woefully in the general election. According to him, worst still, in 2019 general election, the PDP failed to win any elective position in Niger State.
“What is the impact of such a person as far as the party is concerned? In 2019, despite the federal might that was against us in Rivers State, we still were able to deliver all the senatorial candidates, all the House of Representatives candidates. So, who is more profitably to the party? Is it the man who cannot even win in his constituency?”
He further added: “If Aliyu says he will leave PDP today, nobody will shake, nobody will even bother. But I say I will leave PDP tomorrow, you will know the consequences of it.”
On Babangida’s claim that PDP will win the governorship election in Ebony and Cross River states respectively in 2023, the governor described this as laughable. He dared the former Niger State to first of all deliver his state from the APC before pontificating about other States.
“You have heard him say that PDP will recover Ebonyi and Cross River, tell me what will be his contribution. Tell me what is his strategy for them (PDP) to recover the States? A man, who even in his own state cannot provide the votes, he is saying that PDP will recover so and so states. Recover your own first. Show the capacity that you have.”
The governor warned the PDP to wary of Aliyu Babangida and others moles who are determined to ruin the party’s chances of winning the 2023 general elections. He noted that while PDP governors are busy delivering democratic dividends in their respective states, the likes of Babangida are busy sowing seed of discord.
“That was one of those who with other governors were going round to bring down PDP (in 2015) and of course he was happy doing that. Today, look at the consequences. Today, that is the man that has the temerity, the audacity to talk to a governor whose state produced the highest vote in 2015 (1.5million votes) and the ruling party never had 25%. Ask Aliyu, in Niger state if we (PDP) got 10 percent of the votes.”