Upon their return from their international tour on Friday, Governor Nyesom Wike and his political allies confirmed that they had extensively consulted with other 2023 election stakeholders to improve Nigeria.
Wike revealed this upon their return from their journey to London at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa in the Ikwerre Local Government Area, Rivers State, in the company of Governors Samuel Ortom of Benue and Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia.
He stated, “This is the first time as a team meeting with presidential candidates. We met with the APC candidate and our leader, former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo. We met the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, met with our presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
“For whatever it’s worth, consultation is ongoing. Whatever we are talking about is in the interest of Nigerians. It is not parochial and tied to one person or group of persons. We believe what is going on will be in the interest of Nigerians.
“Consultation is still ongoing. Never mind some people who do not believe in the existence of this country. Leadership is not about you and your family. Leadership is about everybody.
“It’s unfortunate that we are in a country now where a man finishes eight years as a governor and brings his son as a governor and as a member of the National Assembly.
“It’s only in this part of the world that you can see that when we talk about poverty everywhere. These are people who do not mean well for this Nigeria.”
The governor lamented the abuse of religion and ethnicity as preferences above ability among Nigerians when they had to choose leaders, saying, “The only identity in this nation is religion and ethnicity, nothing more.
“It’s either I’m a Christian or Moslem, I’m a Fulani, or I’m an Igbo. Nigeria cannot move forward, except they think it will be them. We are in a country where someone with a primary school certificate can be appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs.
“That tells you how bad this country has become. But with our consultation, all these will be a thing of the past. No amount of intimidation or blackmail will deter us. We are determined to right the wrong.”
Governor Ortom added, “For us, we are looking at the larger picture. Nigeria today is in distress. It is about what we can do. No man or woman alone can get it right for our country.
“We are looking at how we can harness ideas and put ourselves together to ensure that we get out of the present challenge in Nigeria today.
“From top to bottom, consider what happened in 2015 and where we are today. So, what we are doing concerns our country, Nigeria.
“This is beyond partisan politics. We are looking at how we can come together and find a way of ensuring that Nigeria survives. Nigeria is on the drip, Nigeria is on oxygen, and it is about how we can get out of this.
“The consultation is going on and will continue to go on. We are still going to meet here. We are still going to meet some persons some other time and see how we can work to ensure that the project Nigeria works.”
The governor of Abia State, Dr Ikpeazu, emphasised that “This is a country with great potential and we have to protect it well. We think that we need to engage across the board.
“We are also looking at speaking with civil society organisations and those who have ideas, with Nigerians in the diaspora. All the resources available in this country have to come together at this time to see how best we can move Nigeria forward.”