By Kelvin Ebiri
Rivers state governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has vowed to expeditiously tackle the festering security and economic challenges facing Nigeria if elected President.
Governor Wike maintained that at this critical juncture, the country desperately requires a leader with political will and courage to decisively end the scourge of insecurity and revive the ailing economy.
The Rivers state governor made the pledge while addressing Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, delegations from Borno and Yobe states in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital on Monday.
He observed that in the past seven years, the security and economic situation in the country had deteriorated due to the incompetence of the current All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government.
“I came here today because there is a problem, and that problem is that Nigeria is dying and we must not allow Nigeria to die. We must rescue this country. So, I came as a Nigerian, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, a party I have never left since 1998 till now. A party I have worked for and will continue to work for. A party I believe with, Nigeria has hope.
“And so, I want to run for the presidency of this country under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party. I came because I feel concerned, I came because I have no other country to run to and therefore, I have come to offer myself to solve most of the problems that this APC administration could not solve.”
He further continued: “Before, people use to talk about insecurity in Borno State, today, insecurity is all over Nigeria. Hunger does not know Muslim, hunger does not know Christian. Insecurity does not known Muslim, insecurity does not know Christian. Insecurity does not know north, insecurity does not know south. You need somebody who will have the courage to fight insecurity in this country and I want to tell you I have that courage.”
He advised the delegates not to be deceived by those who may want to use geopolitical and religious sentiment to influence how they will vote during the PDP convention.
According to him, the socioeconomic and security challenges bedevilling the country does not exclusively affect Muslims or Christians alone.
“Nigerians are aware that everybody is suffering. Nigerian are aware people are dying. Muslims are dying, Christians are dying. Northerners are dying, southerners are dying. We need somebody that can stop all these and that is me.”
Governor Wike accused APC leadership of covertly scheming against his emergence as the flag bearer of the PDP. According to him, APC leaders are afraid that if he clinches the PDP presidential ticket, that will mark the end of their grip on power.
The governor commended the leader of PDP in Borno state, Mohammed Imam for being a steadfast and dependable political ally.
The Rivers state governor commended his Borno counterpart for the hospitality and warm reception accorded him and his entourage.
“Let me on behalf of our team express appreciation and thanks to my brother, the governor of Borno state. Let me sincerely thank you for displaying maturity and this is what we lack in this country. You have shown maturity irrespective of the party you belong to.”
In his remark, Borno state governor, Prof Babagana Zulum said the unity of the nation, deepening internal democracy, promoting peace, social cohesion, and stability in Nigeria cannot be overemphasised.
“The nexus between peace and development need not to be overemphasised. we shouldn’t allow to divide ourselves along political lines to the detriment to the vision of developing one strong Nigeria.”
In his welcome address, the Borno State PDP leader, Hon. Mohammad Imam explained that he is one of the friends who purchased the expression of intent and nomination forms for Governor Wike, because they are convinced of his capacity to lead Nigeria out of its current socioeconomic predicaments.
Imam who spoke on behalf of PDP delegates in Borno and Yobe States decried the nonchalance shown by the All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government to issues of security that has crumbled business in the two States.
“We in Borno and Yobe are business people. We are bordered with three countries; Niger, Cameroon and Chad. Your excellency, our people are businessmen.
“On a daily basis, lots of people here can attest to that, over 2000 trucks load of goods come out from Maiduguri market, cutting (taken) across these three Trans Sahara regions that I’ve mentioned: Maiduguri, Banki-Bama to Cameroon, lake Chad, Niger, up to central Africa: Libya.”
Hon. Imam also expressed grief over the level of devastation that their communities have suffered within the period because of the unrestrained marauding Boko Haram killers.
According to him, despite their cries, there has not been meaningful response from the Federal Government.
He said they are now looking up to Governor Wike who is a man of vision and courage to rescue Nigeria, guarantee safety to Nigerians and improve the economy.
“We are peasant farmers, we don’t go to farm now. Our people cannot access their farms. In the Lake Chad, we are fishermen. 40 percent of the fish consumed in Nigeria and other Sub Africa States come from Lake Chad Basin.
“Your excellency, why we want you to be the President and Commander- in-Chief of this country is because we have hope in you as a person because we know your capacity.
“We know your capability. We know your vision for this country. For we have no other hope here in Borno particularly in the North-East.”
Speaking further, Hon. Imam said the people in Borno and Yobe States will support a man who will restore peace in the area.
“We don’t see any reason why we will have a president that sits down in the Villa while Boko Haram is killing our people in Sambisa Forest here.
Earlier, Governor Wike had paid a courtesy call on the governor of Borno state, Prof. Babagana Zulum at the Government House, Maiduguri.
@views exclusive rights: Kelvin Ebiri,
Special Assistant Media to the Rivers State Governor, April 11, 2022.