Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
The political feud between Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and the presidential candidate of his Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar, has taken a dangerous twist as Atiku has commended those signing up for Wike’s visa ban.
Ikengaonline reports that over 300,000 Nigerians have signed for the United States, European Union and other Western countries to slam visa ban on the Rivers State Governor following his alleged role in the February 25 presidential poll.
There is a viral audio message, albeit old, alleged to have been a phone conversation between Wike and an electoral officer where he threatened to deal with him if he failed to oblige his request.
Atiku who spoke through his Special Assistant on Public Communications, Phrank Shaibu, said Wike should first clear himself of the allegations leveled against him in the just-concluded presidential poll.
The former Vice President in a statement by Shaibu, called Wike an Emperor whose reign would soon fizzle out.
The statement obtained by Ikengaonline read in part: “At this point, I would love to commend the nearly 300,000 Nigerians who have signed the petition for Wike’s visa sanction.
“This is a step in the right direction. This is a man who in every election he has ever been involved in has been characterised by rigging and violence so much so that under his watch, the media tagged his state, ‘Rivers of Blood.’
“This is a man who, during a leaked phone conversation with Governor Ayodele Fayose, admitted to ‘killing everyone we can kill.’
“This is a man who talks down on traditional rulers in his state, arrests those he doesn’t agree with, seals off the buildings of his opponents and even revokes C of O of those in his bad books. May Nigeria never see such an emperor again who uses violence to subdue his people for political gains.”
Atiku who also described Wike as a wailer and bitter loser still nursing the wound of the PDP presidential primary, cautioned the Rivers Governor against speaking under the influence of alcohol.
According to Atiku, speaking under the influence of alcohol will ruin what remains of Wike’s political future.
The former Vice President who spoke on the heels of anti-Atiku remarks made by Wike while addressing his supporters, in Port Harcourt, accused the Rivers State Governor of political vendetta.
Atiku said: “Wike had while addressing his supporters at the Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State on Friday stated that he was drinking a 40-year-old whiskey while he was watching members of his own party on TV protesting against electoral fraud of February 25 in Abuja.
“As they were protesting, I just sat down and took a 40-year whisky. I called some of my friends and opened the 40-year-old whisky as they were protesting,” Wike had said.
Atiku told Wike “to stay off alcohol” as it had not only affected his voice and demeanour but also his thinking faculty.
“Governor Wike has confirmed what we all know. That he is a drunkard. The protest that was led by Waziri Atiku Abubakar on Monday, March 6, 2023, was against the stealing of the mandate of the Nigerian people, which in itself was a noble cause.
“For the sake of clarity, the protest occurred around 11.30am. Governor Wike says he was drinking whisky during the protest at 11.30am on a Monday. This reveals the sort of man he is – a dipsomaniac who abandons his official duties on Monday morning to binge on whisky.
“This explains the reason for his coarse voice, which is similar to that of a motor park tout. It is obvious that Governor Wike also dances under the influence of alcohol. No wonder it is characterised by aesthetic vulgarity.
“It is a common rule that you do not drink and drive. Unfortunately, a drunkard is the one steering the wheel of governance in Rivers State. This is more disturbing because he is married to a judge. Indeed, the term, as sober as a judge, could not even rub off positively on the cantankerous governor.”
He further explained that “Wike’s vituperations and wailings” had nothing to do with ensuring that the South produced the next President.
Atiku argued that Wike was just a sore loser who had gone on to deceive other members of his G-5 who are now battling for political survival.
“Wike’s grouse with Waziri Atiku Abubakar has nothing to do with zoning. He is only wailing because he lost the presidential ticket of the PDP in a fair contest. After losing, he deceived four other governors to join his futile campaign.
“Three governors of the G-5 failed woefully at their senatorial elections, including Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, who, as a sitting governor, came a distant third in the Abia South senatorial election.
“For Governor Seyi Makinde, his ambition is hanging by a thread after his misadventure cost the PDP to lose all three senatorial elections.
“Wike has not held a single meeting with his G-5 members having dumped them since their defeat. He has been rejoicing over the outcome of the polls even though his men have all lost. This is the sort of man he is, and yet he claims not to be committing anti-party infractions.”
Atiku flayed Wike for admitting on video to have manipulated the outcome of the elections in his state in the last election.