Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike has described the recent interview granted by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar on affairs of the party as a concoction of lies.
Wike, who spoke at the Port Harcourt International Airport on Friday, however, vowed to devote reasonable time after inaugurating his newly completed projects to respond to all the lies told by Atiku and his attack dogs.
The Governor said despite keeping quiet after the events that characterised the presidential primaries out of his love for the PDP, the attack dogs of Atiku were everywhere abusing and insulting him.
He named former Governors Babangida Aliyu, Sule Lamido and Maina Waziri as the attack dogs of Atiku saying he would respond to them “line by line and statement by statement”.
Wike noted that no right-thinking person and lover of the PDP would say that the statements made by Atiku while unveiling his vice-presidential candidate was fair.
He said while he refused to react to Atiku’s remarks, the pesidential candidate granted an interview to a television station and spewed many lies.
Wike said contrary to the claims of Atiku and the chairman of the PDP, Iyorchia Ayu, nobody had reached out to him after the primaries of the party.
He said Ayu’s claims that he reached out to him was false while Atiku’s comments that he sent the former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to him was a lie.
According to him: “You can imagine the presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar when he unveiled his vice-presidential candidate; no right thinking and lover of this party will say that the speech he made on that day was fair. Forget about the scavengers. But I never reacted to it because this party belongs to us.
“Thereafter, he appeared on the Arise TV. See the statements he made. So many lies were told and then you said I should not react to the issues. That will not be fair. Assuming today I am not alive, it will be accepted as the truth.
“Look at his attack dogs, Sule Lamido, Babangida Aliyu, Maina Waziri, look at the statements they issued. Look at the abuses they rained on me. It is important that as a person and for my own future and for those who are around me, to say that this is not fair. I will react line by line statements made by Atiku Abubakar himself and his attack dogs.
“Anybody who loves me will not advise me not to react. If a presidential candidate, who believes he wants to win an election, and somebody who contested fiercely with him has never raised any issues, just kept quiet minding my business to see how my state can move forward; but everyday his people come up to attack me. It is quite unfair”.
When asked to confirm the claims by Atiku that he had reached out to him, he said: “When people tell lies, it is most unfortunate. Some senators called me and said Atiku Abubakar said he sent Saraki to me. That is unfair. It is not correct.
“I was in Spain, Bukola came to me and said ‘my brother how do we settle this problem?’ I asked, ‘were you sent by Atiku Abubakar’?, he said no. I said okay, ‘what do you want me to do? Look at the issues’. He said he didn’t know this and that. He said the matter was serious”.
Wike said unknown persons he described as scavengers hanging around Atiku seeking survival were trivialising the matter by calling him and asking him not to leave the party.
He recalled that prior to the primaries, Atiku visited him in Port Harcourt to solicit his support and wondered whether Atiku no longer knew the road to his house after winning the ticket.
Wike said: “Abubakar has never reached out to me, forget about sending scavengers, some of them will call my friends and said tell your guy to support us. It has reduced to that level. Some of them I don’t know would call me and be begging me not to leave the party. Who is talking about leaving the party?
“Atiku Abubakar came to my house and asked me to support him. So he doesn’t know my house again? Now people I don’t even know are calling me to support him. They are trivialising issues. No way. I will not accept that. Atiku Abubakar cannot say he had sent somebody to me. Let one person say he was sent to me by Atiku Abubakar.
“Everyday I read on newspaper you sent a committee to come and see me. I love this party and I have remained committed and I have been able to build this party. I am not one of those who are running around the presidential candidate. They are all scavengers looking for how they will survive.
“General election is not primary election. What is the hope for this country? Who are those who love this country not by mere talking? National Chairman said he spoke to me. With all due respect, he never called me. Not one person has called me to talk to me. I urge everybody to be patient. After commissioning the projects we line up, I will speak”.
Emphasising why he must clarify issues, Wike said: “In this part of the world when lies àre being concocted and you allow it they become facts. I have always believed that when the left speaks, allow the right to also speak. We are not getting younger. It is important that when issues are raised you should be able to say this is the path we are toeing so that the public will know the truth and the lies.
“Since after our primaries, I have decided to be quiet because it is the party I love so much. I decided to go back home and focus on fulfilling the main promises I made to the people of the State. But there comes a time that people will understand the true facts of things. It is not in doubt that I will speak and let Nigerians know the actual truth.
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“Nobody should be in doubt whether I am going to speak on the issues of PDP, primaries and other related matters. I am going to certainly speak. Nigerians will know. It has nothing to do with whether I like you or not. It has nothing to do with PDP. It has to do with putting the records straight”.