The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has said that he is strongly behind Uche Secondus to emerge as the acting national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The PDP holds its national convention in Abuja on Saturday to elect a new set of leaders for the party.
Mr. Secondus, from Rivers, is one of nine aspirants seeking to lead the PDP, Nigeria’s largest opposition party.
A day to the convention, Mr. Wike said he believes Mr. Secondus, a former acting chairman of the party, is the best candidate to lead the PDP in view of his experience and track record.
In a statement by his special assistant on electronic media, Mr. Wike said Mr. Secondus is the only candidate from a state governed by the PDP. That claim is, however, false as at least one other candidate, Tunde Adeniran, is from a PDP-governed state, Ekiti.
The Rivers governor said the other candidates have no political presence in their respective states to drive the revival of the party.
“I have analysed the scenario. I have analysed the delegates spread of each state. There is no way that Prince Uche Secondus will not coast to victory by over 90 per cent of delegates votes.
“I am talking because I am on the campaign team of Prince Uche Secondus and I am a delegate,” the governor said.
Mr. Wike also said he resigned his membership of the National Convention Planning Committee because he wants to focus on the campaign for the emergence of Mr. Secondus as national chairman.
“Secondus has never said anything negative against any other candidate. He has remained focused on his campaign,” he said.
He said Mr. Secondus has no existing problems with the EFCC contrary to petitions against him.
“Somebody who believes that he will win, will not resort to writing petitions before the convention. All reports in the media against Secondus are planted and false.”
While saying there is no zone that should be taken for granted, Mr. Wike said that the South-south remains the bedrock of the PDP.
“National Chairmanship in the South-west will not change the fortunes of the PDP. Even when the President hailed from the South-west, the fortunes of the party did not improve in terms of votes in that zone. The zone is prone to incessant crises as can be seen. Any candidate who emerges from the South-west will lead to the further crisis from other factions from that zone.”
“Only a candidate from outside the South-west such as Prince Uche Secondus can unite the zone. He has the reach and capacity to unite all factions in the South-west. He is the person suited for the party at this time
“After tomorrow’s convention, PDP will come out stronger. It will come out refreshed and re-positioned for the good of the country.”
Also speaking on Friday during an appearance on Channels Television, the Rivers governor said: “The issue of micro-zoning and gentleman’s agreement does not arise. There is nothing like that. The so-called micro-zoning is being floated by a presidential aspirant from the North supported by campaign officials of Tunde Adeniran.”
He emphasised that the 2019 presidential ticket was zoned to the North while the party’s national chairmanship was zoned to the South.
Mr. Wike alleged that some PDP national chairmanship aspirants have resorted to blackmail, simply because they have lost the support of the delegates.
“Anybody who believes in PDP will work for the party after the National Convention, whether or not you emerge.
You will do otherwise when you are controlled by external forces. No right thinking party member will resort
to the issuance of threats.”