A former deputy national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Bode George has accused Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State of attempting to mess up the Yoruba race.
George, who was one of the national chairmanship aspirants from Lagos State during the botched August 17 national convention of the PDP in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, said the governor was trying to dictate to the Yoruba on their choice of leadership.
He was reacting to the alleged plan by Mr. Wike to impose Jimi Agbaje as PDP national chairman during the botched convention.
According to him, events that played out in Port Harcourt had vindicated the embattled factional national chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, who has often accused PDP governors, especially Wike and Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, of attempting to hijack the party for their own selfish ends.
“Now you can see that Sheriff is a saint. All he has been complaining about, he was right”, Mr. George said.
Shedding light on why he said the Rivers governor was trying to ridicule the Yoruba race, the PDP chieftain said the South-West zonal chapter had adopted him (George) as its candidate for the national chairmanship position but that Wike and his cohorts were trying to interfere with the decision of the zone.
“If a zone cannot recommend him (Agbaje), who the hell are you people (in apparent reference to Wike and co.) to decide he is the one you want? We didn’t interfere with them bringing [Uche] Secondus or the South-East bringing their own candidate”, he fumed.
Mr. Geroge vowed that “We would save this party, would do everything that is possible to salvage this party. The South-west had already endorsed somebody, you refused to take that, you were manipulating people, jumping all around. If we had done that when we were building the party, many of them would never have ended up being governors. If you are a governor, you must show a high pitch of responsibility, respectability and civility”.
Still seething with anger from the planned imposition of Agbaje, who was the PDP candidate during the last general election in Lagos, Chief George said “For God’s sake, you are messing up with the Yoruba people. They are saying, ‘This is what we want’ and you are saying, ‘this is the one you would pick for us’. And they are taking a man who is yet to get his political teeth in Yoruba land in the PDP to make him the national chairman. It is an insult to the Yoruba people and we will never allow it, very disgraceful, very thoughtless. What do you think we are in Yoruba land? And nobody goes to the Villa (Presidency) without winning the South-west with 6.5m registered voters. I am happy that it (convention) was postponed. Like I said, it is a divine intervention”.