Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, says Nigeria is “not ripe” for a Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket.
According to a statement by Kelvin Ebiri, spokesman to the governor, Wike said this on Sunday at the special dedication service for the Rivers state Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) 2023 election campaign rallies.
The event held at the St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Port Harcourt, the Rivers capital.
Wike also said it’s an insult to ignore zoning the presidency.
While the All Progressives Congress (APC) has fielded a Muslim-Muslim ticket for the presidency, the PDP presidential candidate is Atiku Abubakar, who is also a northerner like the incumbent president, Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking at the event, Wike said it is important to ensure fair representation in the country’s political setting.
“You play on people’s intelligence. You say Nigeria is not ripe for Muslim-Muslim ticket, I agree. But Nigeria is ripe for presidency to remain in one zone? I mean, just look at the insult. You blow hot and cold,” he said.
“Most of you just sit there; you don’t ask yourselves questions. Somebody continues to sell these kind of cheap ideas. You don’t ask the person, ‘I agree with what you are saying but look at what we are saying here’.
“Your party wants the presidency to go to the same zone where President Muhammadu Buhari is coming from. Who is cheating who?
“It is not now that politics have come, you want to come and tell the church a different story for your own personal interest. We have to be careful so that the church is not destroyed, because, all of us, for example, we are Anglicans, I will not allow anybody, for his selfish interest to destroy the church of Nigeria. I will not allow that.”
Meanwhile, the River governor’s comment comes amid crisis in the PDP over calls by Wike and his allies for Iyorchia Ayu to step down as the PDP national chairman in the interest of “fairness”.
The call for Ayu’s resignation is on the grounds that the national chairman and the presidential candidate of the party cannot be from the same region.