Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has offered a scathing rebuttal to threats issued by the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Mr. Philip Shaibu, over the widening schism in the Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, between migrants of the APC led by Governor Godwin Obaseki and foundational members of the party led by Chief Dan Orbih.
At a Thursday rally staged by Governor Obaseki to welcome newly-elected PDP National Chairman, Sen. Iyorchia Ayu, to Edo State, Mr. Philip Shaibu repeated a threat he issued at an earlier caucus meeting that unless the national organ of the party facilitates a controversial ‘harmonization’ process which would see migrants from the APC, including Shaibu himself, seize control of the PDP in Edo State, the party would risk losing their membership.
Speaking in his usual boastful and rash style, Mr. Shaibu ranted on for several minutes about plans by allies of the Governor to exit the party unless the national leadership wades into the crisis and ensures a resolution in their favor.
He disputed Obaseki’s assurances that he would not leave the party, saying that his resolve is conditioned on the continued membership of his “soldiers”, with no pushback from the Governor.
Displeased by the arrogance of the Deputy Governor and his “irresponsible” conduct, Governor Nyesom Wike fired back this weekend at an event. He expressed dismay at the actions of the Governor and his Deputy barely two years after the party rescued them from a humiliating defeat, Bloomshire Nigeria reports.
Governor Wike took particular umbrage at Mr. Shaibu’s comments, wondering how “an ordinary Deputy Governor” who lost his local government during the election could muster the temerity to threaten a party that has his likes as sitting Governors.
He said: “This the same Deputy Governor (and his boss) that they were kneeling down for us to give them the umbrella. Today he has the effrontery to threaten PDP. Such a shame.”
“These are the same people when they were denied ticket under APC, they were running helter-skelter, begging everybody to give them umbrella and we gave them umbrella; we went and made sure that they won that election, today that Deputy Governor is ranting.”
“A Deputy Governor will come out on national television to tell PDP there are alternatives. I have written to the National Chairman of the party, if they do not constitute a disciplinary committee against the Deputy Governor, I will invoke sections of the party and ensure that they must discipline that Deputy Governor.”
“This is the same person who lost his local government during the election. A Deputy Governor wearing khaki, look at him,” Wike mocked to roaring laughter from his audience.
“This is the first time I will see a Deputy Governor come out on television to threaten the party; who is his father? Now that he has started the trouble, let him wait. We will make sure he will never have rest,” he vowed.