Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has said the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) embarked on self-destruct when it refused to honor the zoning arrangement entrenched in the party’s constitution.
The governor said such act is the highest form of anti-party and the decision contributed largely to the party’s catastrophic defeat in the just-concluded presidential election.
Wike spoke when the three Rivers senators-elect – Deputy Governor Ipalibo Harry Banigo, Senator Barry Mpigi and Allwell Onyesoh – visited him yesterday at his private residence in Rumueprikom to present their Certificates of Return to him.
The governor insisted the PDP’s constitution in Section 7(3)(c) states that in “pursuant of the principles of equity, justice, and fairness, the party shall adhere to the policy of rotation of elective and appointive offices”.
He added: “We are proud to have produced the three senators. Out of 13 House of Representatives, they have announced 10, and we have taken nine. We believe that when election is done in the other ones, we will also emerge victorious because Rivers State has always been with PDP as regards to the issues of our local elections.
“When our party abandoned the principle of equity, fairness and justice; when our party abandoned the provisions of our constitution, which is the highest anti-party anybody can do, they also have to pay for it.
“If you see that your constitution says this is what you should do, and you abandoned it, you have committed anti-party more than any other thing. Our own is unity of Nigeria, and that is what we stand for. Unity of Nigeria is far above party interest.”
Wike said the All Progressives Congress (APC) governors deserved commendation for their nationalistic stance that propelled the party to zone the Presidency to the South.
According to him, the victory of the President-elect of southern extraction was made possible because of the premium APC governors attached to national unity.
He said: “That is why I said that the APC governors are my heroes. They came out openly to tell the world, to tell Nigerians that ‘the unity of this country is paramount; we don’t want Nigeria to be divided’.
“In fact, I was shocked when all of them came out and said we have had it for eight years in the North, let it go this way (South) for eight years so that we can have harmony, peace and unity.”