Did Wike Say PDP Will Vote Southern Presidential Candidate In 2023?

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A post on Facebook by the “APC Frontier Group” claiming that Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State said he will support a southern candidate in the 2023 presidential election is currently causing rancour across social media platforms.

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The post has thousands of shares across Facebook and other social media channels

 

VERDICT: FALSE

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Full Text: The text on Facebook which has the picture of Governor Wike and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku, read thus: “Sule Lamido thinks I am a fool that he will say PDP should promise me presidency after the tenure of Atiku. Who go dash Atiku president self? …we are not second-class citizens in this country, you can’t like Rivers money but hate us, we will vote southern president next year.”

Verification: In verifying the claim, Weetalknaija.com.ng on Sunday  went through the Twitter handle of the governor and his other social media handles to find out whether he actually made such remarks, but couldn’t see anything of such.

 

Secondly, Daily Trust on Sunday conducted a web search of major news paper sites, blogs and online platforms to see if there is any story as such attributed to Wike but couldn’t find anything.

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Checks by Daily Trust o Sunday revealed that indeed Governor Wike was aggrieved following the outcome of the PDP primaries which produced Mr. Atiku Abubakar as the flagbearer. However, the governor has not made any comment on leaving the party.

 

There were reports that he was leaving the party after playing host to presidential aspirants like Alhaji Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) as well as Mr. Peter Obi, candidate of the Labour Party.

 

He has however not made any comment or hinted on any plan to leave the party.

 

Background

 

On May 28 2022, the PDP held its national convention to elect a presidential candidate that will fly the flag of the party in the forthcoming 2023 general elections.

 

At the convention, Nigeria’s former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, emerged as the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

 

Atiku defeated 12 other candidates in a keenly contested presidential primary held at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja.

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Of the 767 accredited ballots at the election, he polled 371 votes while his closest challenger, Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, came second with 237 votes.

 

Nigeria’s former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, scored 70 votes to come a distant third while Governor of Akwa Ibom, Udom Emmanuel, came fourth with 38 votes.

 

The only female in the race, Oliver Diana, and another contestant, Sam Ohuabunwa, scored one vote each.

 

A former President of the Senate, Anyim Pius Anyim, scored 14 votes while Bauchi State governor, Bala Mohammed, scored 20 votes.

 

The other contestants including former Governor Ayodele Fayose and Magazine Publisher, Dele Momodu, got zero votes.

 

Twelve invalid votes were recorded.

 

Since the outcome of the primary elections was not favourable to Mr. Wike, he has taken a back seat in the activities of the party despite pledging to support any candidate that emerges winner of the primaries.

 

His passive disposition to party activities was evident when he was conspicuously absent when the party unveiled the vice-presidential candidate, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Delta State governor, who emerged against the recommendation of the 17-member committee set up by the party.

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Out of the 17 members, 14 declared that Wike should get the vice-presidential position, however, Mr. Atiku Abubakar went against their recommendation and picked Gov. Okowa.

 

Since then, the governor has been quiet and just recently returned to the country from a vacation in Turkey. Wike, in company of the Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, returned to the country last weekend.

 

While in Turkey, there were reports that he had travelled to France and met with the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, but the latter had denied any meeting with Wike in France.

 

Also, the Rivers State Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Sydney Gbara, had confirmed that there was no truth in the report and that the governor was a full member of the party and committed to the efforts of the party in wrestling power from the APC in 2023.

 

Conclusion: Checks by Daily Trust on Sunday has shown that Mr. Wike never made such comments about his supporters voting a southern candidate in the 2023 general elections. As such, the claim by the APC frontier group is FALSE. Continue Reading…

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