Ebonyi State Governor Dave Umahi has said All Progressives Congress presidential candidate Bola Tinubu does not need the logistical support of Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike when he visits Rivers State to campaign.
Umahi said this on Tuesday at the inauguration of the Akpabu-Itu-Omudiogha-Egbeda road at Ishimbam land in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Umahi said: “My party APC does not need logistics. We have seen how you have promised logistical support to all the candidates.
“We don’t need logistical support, we only need votes for the presidency. All I ask is that for the presidency. I will not ask what is impossible.
“Keep Asiwaju’s presidential votes. He will come here to ask for votes…”
Addressing Wike, Umahi described him as a nationalist, saying, “A man who is building bridges for the unity of this nation, history will be kind to you.”
He said the Rivers State governor has been fighting for all those who betrayed him, adding that Wike invited cross-party stakeholders to come to the state, saying, “you are a man with the heart of a lion.
“You have never chosen a fight for yourself, it is always for the people. I remember in 2019 you were fighting for someone, someone who pushed the first dagger against you and you also started a fight with me.
“I told you that the South-East would support your candidate, but you did not believe it. When you narrowly lost the guy’s election, you got mad at everyone.
“You insisted that the convention should be held in Rivers. You have no reservations about helping other people.
“I am an engineer and I know the value of the projects and what you have done here. I’m not going to be part of the campaign here other than the presidential campaign.
“I will not come. Your infrastructure is unique. I thank you for what you are doing in Rivers.’
Speaking, Wike accused those who asked former President Goodluck Jonathan to drop his presidential ticket when he won his bid for a second term in 2015 as the cause of the protracted crisis rocking the PDP.
Wike said former President Jonathan went to those PDP leaders and asked them to come back and work for the party to win the 2015 election, but they refused and insisted that he should give them the ticket.
According to him, Jonathan especially met with the current PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar at the Dorchester Hotel in London and appealed to him to return to the party.
He said: “At the Dorchester Hotel (London), he (Jonathan) today went to beg our presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, please bring me back to the party my brother and support me.
“You know the condition that was given to Jonathan, he should drop the ticket not to run as president of Nigeria. That was the president of a governing party and a presidential candidate.’
Governor Wike wondered why people were now calling for his head because he and other governors who made up the “Integrity Group” were demanding that the National Chairman of the PDP, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, should resign from office.
“We are not saying that the presidential candidate should leave the ticket, we are not being selfish. We are saying now that you are a presidential candidate, let our people take the presidency, they said they will kill me,” he said.
Wike explained that his previous confrontation with Governor Umahi was not personal, he (Umahi) took away the mandate from another party to protect the PDP.
He said he emerged from that legal battle against Umahi, despite hiring PDP lawyers, the national leadership of the party in Abuja did not consult him when they decided that the Ebonyi State governor was likely to be replaced.
“Let me say publicly that most people thought you and I were fighting, we’re not on speaking terms. My dear people, I want to say this, David Umahi has no problem with me.
“If there is a governor who is very close to David Nwaeze Umahi, it is me. I was defending our party when he took our mandate and ran away. And I told my brother to bring back our mandate,” Wike said.
As he explained, he could not continue fighting for a party that did not appreciate what he was doing for it.
“But you see fighting for the party, there was nothing personal, even the party you are fighting for turned around to not appreciate what you are doing.
“When you see Wike fighting, there is nothing personal but it is in the interest of the party. And I said that all these fights are no longer necessary. I will not continue to fight and people will ignore me,” he said.