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I won’t accept VP position; PDP should give me ticket to defeat APC: Wike

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Presidential aspirant Nyesom Wike says he is a certain candidate to defeat the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), hence party delegates should grant him the ticket to rum.

Mr Wike however said he will never settle for vice-president position, as he was not in the race to negotiate such an option.

“I’m not coming out to negotiate to be vice to anyone, I’m coming out to contest for the number one position in the country,’’ the Rivers State governor told party leaders in Benin on Thursday.

Mr Wike explained that he was in Benin to inform PDP chieftains and delegates that he had made himself available to run for the office of president next year.

He said that if he was given the mandate by the PDP in the party’s presidential primaries next month, he would end up winning the presidential election.

“We must have a candidate who listens to the grassroots. I have the capacity to face the All Progressives Congress in 2023.

“Give me the ticket and have your confidence that we will takeover power in May 2023. Don’t allow anybody to disabuse your mind from voting for Wike.

“We cannot continue to give excuses why we are losing elections,” he said.

The presidential aspirant said further that there was need to change the narrative on “the dis-connect’’ between government and party.

According to him, government cannot do anything without carrying the party along.

“Leadership should not be a cabal thing,’’ he stated.

The governor was earlier at the palace of the Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, where he told the king that if elected president, he would focus on checking insecurity with massive investment in intelligence gathering.

He pointed out that it was only in a secure environment that economic activities, agriculture and investments in infrastructure could thrive.

Mr Wike recalled that he was in Benin one and a half years ago as the Director-General of the campaign for the re-election of Governor Godwin Obaseki.

“I have come to Benin to talk to delegates of our party who will be part of our national convention on May 28 and May 29.

“The way our country has fared, Nigeria needs somebody that will see white and say it is white and see black and say it is black.

“If the PDP gives me the ticket, I have enough experience to tackle Nigeria’s plethora of problems, having been a local government chairman, minister of state over-seeing education and now governor.”

The Benin king in his response, lauded the competence and capability of the presidential aspirant, citing his achievements as governor.

“Wike is our son, we love him and if I say so, I believe I am speaking on behalf of our ancestors.

“We will keep praying for him so that he does not come across anybody that will mislead him, mis-inform him and may he and his family never come across harm.”

Also speaking, Dan Orbih, the PDP South-South National Vice-Chairman, urged delegates to support Wike, whom he described as a “political elephant”.

Mr Orbih said the nation needed a president who would “say it as it is’’.

The party chieftain said that Nigeria was currently in deep slumber and that the nation needed Mr Wike to wake the nation up.

He recalled that at the party’s last summit, held in Uyo in Akwa-Ibom, the summit had resolved that the next president should come from the South-South.

(NAN)