Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has accused the 2023 presidential candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, of peddling “lies” against him in the aftermath of the party’s primary.
Mr Wike, who said since he lost out in the presidential primary, had been quiet, faulted the television interview granted by Mr Abubakar on the crisis rocking the party.
He vehemently noted that Mr Abubakar had been using chieftains of the opposition party, whom he described as “attack dogs” to spread falsehood against him.
“Since after our primaries, I have decided to be quiet because PDP is a party I love so much. I have never said anything and I decided to go back home (to Rivers state) and focus on fulfilling the promises I made to the people but there comes a time when the truth has to be told.
“Thereafter; he (Atiku) appeared before Arise television. So many lies were told, and you said I should not react to some of those issues, that is not fair enough.
“What he has said would be accepted as the truth. Look at his attack dogs; Sule Lamido, Babangida Aliyu and Abubakar Waziri, look at the statement they issued,” Mr Wike told journalists while arriving at the Port Harcourt International Airport, on Thursday.
Mr Wike had been aggrieved since the fallout of PDP’s presidential primary and subsequent nomination of Delta governor Ifeanyi Okowa as Mr Abubakar’s running mate.
The governor said posterity would not forgive him if he failed to speak up on the crisis rocking the PDP, explaining that Mr Abubakar had not been magnanimous in victory.
The Rivers governor said that despite the former vice president’s claim in the media, he was yet to send any delegation to him since the presidential primary ended.
“But there comes a time that people will understand and know the true facts of things. So, obviously, whether I will speak or not, I will let Nigerians know the actual truth.
“Having known the truth, whatever they decide with it, is left for Nigerians because you can imagine when the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar unveiled his vice presidential candidate,” Mr Wike said.
He added: “Look at the abuses they hauled on me. So, it is important for me as a person to react line by line, to the statement made by Atiku himself and his attack dogs.
“Look at a presidential candidate who believes he wants to win the election but someone who contested fairly with him has never raised any issue.
“I just kept quiet, I mind my own business and see how my state can move forward. Everyday people come up and they attack me. It is quite unfair I should let Nigerians know at the appropriate time so that posterity would be on our side that we have been able to keep the record straight.
“Nigerians would know what happened, they would know those who love this country,” Mr Wike added.
The Rivers governor, who also revealed that Mr Abubakar was in his house before the presidential primary to solicit a vote and his support, wondered why he could no longer visit him after winning the exercise.
He added that former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, reaching out to him to support the party, was done in a personal capacity and not for the party.
“It’s most unfortunate when people tell lies; I was in Spain when Bukola (Saraki) came to me that, how do we settle this problem, and I asked him if he was sent by Atiku and he said no.
“I asked what does he want me to do, I told him the issues and Atiku came to my house and said I should support him. So he doesn’t know my house again.
“People are now calling me on the phone to support him, those I don’t even know. They have reduced me to a ” guy” when calling and start begging.
“Atiku cannot say he has sent anybody to me. Let one person in the party say he came to see me and was sent by Atiku. Forget about those who are running around looking for what they have to survive,” the Rivers governor added.