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To Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike, the state has not taken a position on who to support for the presidency on February 25.
He spoke to counter the impression that a statement attributed to former Transportation Minister Abiye Sekibo on his relationship with Alhaji Atiku Abubakar might have created.
According to him, it will be wrong for the former minister to equate his personal relationship to Atiku, who is the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to that of the state.
Wike, who expressed confidence that the candidates of the PDP will win in the National Assembly and House Assembly elections, insisted the state has no decided who to back for the presidency.
Tackling the former minister, the governor said he lacked the political latitude to speak for the people of the state, as according to him, the state was yet to determine what to do concerning the presidential poll.
He said: “PDP will win our state. I am not hiding it as far as the governorship, House of Reps, Senate and state assembly are concerned. The other one we have not decided, until the right thing is done.”
Downplaying Sekibo’s political influence, the governor claimed the minister failed to attract democratic dividends to the state and his Okrika home town when he held the fort as in the Transportation Ministry.
The governor spoke in Port Harcourt during the inauguration of 319 ward and 32 constituency liaison officers.
Wike said: ”I watched a video when one Dr. Abiye Sekibo, while he was addressing people in his house on Sunday, said he is the director of Atiku’s Supporters in Rivers. I have no problem with that. But he does not have the capacity to speak on behalf of Rivers State.
“In that video, he said that River State has been having a close relationship with Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and that Rivers State has always benefitted from Atiku Abubakar. I want to correct one impression; Dr. Abiye Sekibo has a personal relationship with Alhaji Atiku, not Rivers State.
“Dr. Abiye Sekibo was Minister of Transport when Alhaji Atiku Abubakar was the Vice-President of Nigeria. Can you people mention one project in Okrika – I don’t even want to talk about Rivers State – in Ogu/Bolo, one project that he brought down to Rivers State? Is there any one?”
Wike said leadership was not about personal aggrandizement, but serving the people and protecting their interests while building up others as competent successors.
He said: “I was a minister, junior minister for that matter. But I am proud to say anywhere I go to in this state (Rivers) that I brought dividends of democracy to Rivers State.
“As a junior minister, I brought the Oil and Gas Polytechnic to Rivers State which is sited in Bonny. There was no faculty of law at the University of Port Harcourt since the creation of that institution, but I brought it.
“As a minister, I made sure Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic and the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, even if they are state institutions, I made sure they got grants of N500 million each.”
Wike also mentioned his several educational interventions at the primary and secondary school levels, which, according to him, depicted what true leadership should be.
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