Southern group condemn Aliyu’s comment on Wike

Southern group condemn Aliyu's comment on Wike

From Tony John, Port Harcourt

The Southern Nigeria Peoples Assembly (SNPA) has berated the former governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, for allegedly casting aspersions on Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, over the choice of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) vice presidential candidate.

The Leader of the Assembly, Livingstone Wechie, in a statement he signed, in Port Harcourt, noted a television interview, where Aliyu allegedly said that Wike lost the vice presidential ticket for lack of capacity, character and temperament.

Wechie described the comments credited to the former governor of Niger State as “highly unsalutory and untoward.”

He continued that the assertions by the former governor Aliyu raised a lot of concern and fails the sensitivity test completely.

Wechie declared: “The outburst and ungraceful cum uncomplimentary remarks by His Excellency, Babangida Aliyu the former Governor of Niger State against His Excellency Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State is highly unsalutory and untoward.

“As a matter of fact, his view of a Nyesom Wike an illustrious and highly celebrated Ikwerre son is an affront not only to his ethnicity and region but to the Nigerian state, particularly in the face of the current political and economic disputations and contradictions bedevilling the Nigerian State today.”

The assembly accused Aliyu of attempting to cause disharmony in the party, at a time when PDP is in dire need of mending the fences.

“It is viewed with respect that His Excellency Babangida Aliyu has acted far below dignity with a primordial and archaic sentiment and above all unstatesmanly.

“His narratives are suspicious, to say the least curious, as it appears to be aimed at fuelling crisis and fanning the embers of avoidable conflict within the ranks of the Party at a time the party should be mending walls and beg for peace after a fierce and sharp contest which shook the political atmosphere almost to a negative trajectory.”

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The group wondered what could have given the former governor of Niger Delta the tenacity to make uncomplimentary remarks about the Rivers State governor.

Wechie asked: “In all modesty, between a Nyesom Wike and a Babangida Aliyu in the circumstance, who should be speaking of capacity, temperament or political character? The records of political profiles between both figures are extremely apart as a Nyesom Wike has built an unsurpassable political clout that dwarfs everything Babangida Aliyu represents and this is not in dispute.

“Governor Nyesom Wike in his capacity is in a class of his own as the lawyers will say sui generis. His marks must be kept close to the chest drawing from the lessons of Donald Trump’s political pedigree in the United States of America, whose feat continues to hunt American politics because of his background of not being among the ruling family or class, yet took America by storm in such unwavering propensity.

“It is on record that His Excellency Babangida Aliyu in 2015 as an incumbent failed to produce a successor as Governor of Niger State which candidate he allegedly foisted on the PDP and went on to lose both the governorship seat to the opposition APC, as well as his own senatorial election as a seating governor and this is quite humiliating.

“Meanwhile, the same Wike whose profile he seeks to undermine won his governorship election the same year wherein he defeated a seating governor and grabbed all the State and National Assembly seats in Rivers State as an ordinary civilian, who was not occupying any office at the time he ran for that office in 2015.

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“Intrinsically, it was under the watch and charge of the same Nyesom Wike as a former Minister and governorship candidate at the time that the PDP got the highest number of votes both at the governorship and presidential election and this was also replicated back to back in 2019 by the same person.

“It is further on record that His Excellency Babangida Aliyu after serially failing to gain any space in Niger State in 2019 reportedly imposed another governorship candidate but was again thoroughly trounced and cut to size in his own state while Governor Nyesom Wike won back-to-back and retained Rivers State as a complete PDP State till date.

“No doubt the issue here is political, it is conversely unsavoury. The leaders of your party have countlessly attested to the fact that His Excellency Governor Nyesom Wike resuscitated the PDP after it was almost deserted and abandoned to die by many who now gain from it.

“The investment of commitment and price of sacrifices made by the Rivers State governor in rebounding the party and placing it on its feet to function as an opposition party after the Goodluck Jonathan loss is something nobody can erase through any act of deletion.

“The PDP has always celebrated the efforts of Nyesom Wike as the stabiliser of the party when the chips were down. It is no doubt on public record that Nyesom Wike largely took on the task of shouldering the survival of the PDP in a way that made him (Wike) the rallying point and a mecca.

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“Little wonder why Governor Wike in retrospect exposed and identified His Excellency Babangida Aliyu as a mole within the party and current developments indicate that Babangida Aliyu may not have completed his assignment by his sponsors and co-travellers both within and outside the PDP which sole purpose is to knee on the neck of the party.”

The assembly reiterated that, in terms of records, there was no basis for comparison between Wike and Aliyu on any count in terms of political pedigree.

Wechie emphasized that the statement was not aimed at mocking the former governor of Niger State, but for the leaders to warn and caution themselves as well as check their excesses.

He, however, added that the Ikwerre ethnic nationality and Niger Delta region are proud of Wike and others who have made indelible marks, particularly in the political space.

“This is so, coming from a clime that has made among the highest contributions to the economic and sociopolitical development of Nigeria.”

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