Governor Nyesom Wike has warned other parties not to campaign in Rivers State, claiming that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will win the oil-rich state in next year’s elections.
On Saturday, he spoke at the State Honours and Awards ceremony held at the Banquet Hall of Government House in Port Harcourt.
“Lawyer, you must make money but here don’t worry yourself; nobody (opposition) would win here,” he said during the event, urging opposition parties not to waste their resources campaigning in the state.
“I told David Umahi, Governor of Kogi (Yahaya Bello), and Abubakar Malami (Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice) when they came to visit me, ‘Don’t put money here it won’t work; it is a no-go area’,” the governor added.
Wike claims that his government already has a successor as a result of his administration’s efforts.
“In my state, we know who is going to be my successor. I want to advise you if you are spending money on anybody, stop,” Wike said.
“Here, we have a successor. It is not by my power but by what we have done in this state. It is not that I want to impose a successor. It is not true.
“Bring a successor and tell people why you want to bring a successor.”
Wike, a former minister, has been at odds with the main opposition party’s leadership since losing the party’s presidential nomination to Atiku Abubakar.
The governor claimed that the process was unfair, and he asked PDP national chairman Iyorchia Ayu to resign because both he and the former vice president are from the northern region.
While efforts to reconcile Wike and his allies have so far failed, the party’s upper echelons remain hopeful that a truce will be reached before the country goes to the polls next February.
However, observers say Wike’s political romance with top opposition members is a major source of concern for the PDP, which has been out of power at the centre since 2015.