Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers state, says some members of the national working committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are “tax collectors”.
The governor said this in reaction to allegations that he is responsible for an order restraining Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo, from participating in the PDP primary election ahead of the governorship poll.
A federal high court sitting in Port Harcourt, capital of Rivers, had asked that a motion seeking to bar Obaseki from participating in the primary be served on the defendants, including the governor, via newspaper publication.
A suit, filed by Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, one of the PDP aspirants, prayed the court that only aspirants who purchased the party’s nomination form and were screened within the stipulated time should be allowed to contest in the primary.
In a statement on Tuesday, Paulinus Nsirim, Rivers commissioner for information and communications, said Wike has pulled out of the reconciliation in order to save his integrity.
Nsirim quoted the governor as describing some members of the NWC as tax collectors who will never tell the truth.
Addressing journalists in Port Harcourt, the governor faulted a publication on a national newspaper which alleged that he was involved in the court ruling.
The governor said some members of the NWC are blackmailing him, and he pulled out to save his integrity.
He questioned why the NWC did not consult with governors in the case of Bayelsa state, adding that he would no longer participate in any reconciliation.
“I told them that in Edo State, we must handle the issue carefully and carry everybody along. They must respect human beings and not behave like tax collectors,” he said.
“They said because an order was obtained from a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, then I am responsible.
“I have had sleepless nights to resolve the issue in Edo state. The Governors of Edo, Adamawa, and Delta states, know what I have done to resolve the issues in Edo state.
“As a result of this senseless accusation, I have pulled out of Edo State settlement. My integrity matters. I have also directed my lawyer to write ThisDay Newspaper on the publication they made against me in their Tuesday, 23rd June, 2020 edition.
“I know the members of the National Working Committee of PDP who connived with ThisDay. They are tax collectors. Let them challenge me and I will come out with more facts. Nobody will rubbish me by raising false accusations against me. I will fight back.
“I am brought up not to accept injustice, and that is why I keep speaking out on national issues. Nobody in PDP can intimidate Rivers State.
“Nobody can threaten me because I said things must be done constitutionally. I will always continue to satisfy my conscience. From now on, I want to concentrate on the development of Rivers State.”
Obaseki had defected to the PDP following his disqualification from participating in the governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the party under which he was elected in 2016.
The PDP had also given a waiver to Obaseki and Philip Shuaibu, his deputy, to run on its platform.
The PDP primary election in Edo has been rescheduled to hold on June 25.
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