There are strong indications that the political difference/rivalry between Governor Nyesom Wike of River State and his Edo State counterpart, Godwin Obaseki, may not have abated as the former, on Thursday, shunned the Edo State Government House while in the state to fan his presidential ambition.
Wike was in Benin as part of his meetings with the delegates of the Peoples Democratic Party ahead of the party’s convention to select its presidential candidate for the 2023 general elections.
Recall that the rift between Wike and Obaseki started when the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Phillip Shaibu, stated that many supporters of Obaseki, who defected with the governor to the PDP, did not feel accepted into the party, and therefore, threatened the possibility of quitting the party.
Wike, in reaction to Shaibu’s statement, called the deputy governor an ingrate and urged the PDP national chairman to constitute a disciplinary committee against him.
In what was seen as a tacit support to his deputy, Obaseki described Wike’s utterances as most unfortunate and uncalled for.
Wike, while in Benin, did not visit the state party secretariat but was at the palace of the Oba of Benin and then met with the party’s delegates at the residence of the late former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the PDP, Chief Tony Anenih.
At the Oba’s palace, Wike said if elected as President, he would focus on checking insecurity with massive investment in intelligence gathering. He noted that it was only in a secure environment that economic activities, agriculture and investment in infrastructure could thrive.
The governor stated, “I was here one and a half years ago as the director-general of the campaign for the re-election of Governor Obaseki, but I am here today not on behalf of anybody but of myself and my team to seek your prayers.
“I have come to Benin to talk to the delegates of our party that will be part of our national convention on May 28 and 29. The way our country has fared, Nigeria needs somebody that will see white and say it is white and will see black and say that it is black. If the PDP gives me the ticket, I have enough experience to tackle Nigeria’s mirage of problems, having been a local government chairman, minister of state overseeing education and now governor.
“The major issue confronting Nigeria today is insecurity, without security no other activity can function. What we need to tackle insecurity is intelligence gathering which is lacking, we are not going to sit down and give excuses but we will take action and spend resources to gather intelligence.”
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