A group of Ijaw speaking indigenes under the aegis of Pan Rivers Alliance, yesterday in Port Harcourt kicked against what they said was a purported endorsement of the Supervising Minister of Education, Barr. Nyesom Wike, to run for governor of Rivers State come 2015.
The group, in a press statement signed by its coordinator, Sam Otonye, said the endorsements were not genuine and could have been influenced.
It would be recalled that the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, had thrown her weight, in what appeared to be a major endorsement of Wike’s perceived governorship ambition even as she affirmed his position as leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Rivers State.
But the statement by Mr. Otonye said: “The Pan Rivers Alliance (Rivers West Senatorial District) notes that never in the political history of Nigeria, since the failed bid by General Sani Abacha to transmute from a military into a civilian Head of State, has the political ambition of any Nigerian been inundated with so much orchestrated endorsements like that of Barr. Nyesom Wike.
“There appears to be no end to these stage-managed endorsements of Nyesom Wike which is tearing apart the Rivers State PDP as the party is inundated daily with claims and counterclaims to these phantom endorsements”.
The statement described the behavior of those in support of the endorsement as self-serving.
It added: “What are the ‘persuasive and binding legal reasons’ that compelled Dr. Tammy Danagogo to endorse Nyesom Wike in contravention to the provision of the PDP Constitution in its Aims and Objectives in Chapter 1 item 3[C] that guarantees ‘Adhering to the policy of rotation and zoning of party and public elective offices in pursuance of the principle of equity, justice and fairness?
“When did Barrister Nyesom Wike become the yardstick for competence and experience in Rivers State, having been elected a local government chairman straight from NYSC, then appointed a Chief of Staff and then a minister within twelve years?” it asked.