Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, said the present National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) cannot lead the party to victory in the 2023 general elections and called for a replacement of the leadership.
The governor noted that the internal rumbling that was recently witnessed in the party was due to the failure of the NWC to carry out its responsibility as an opposition political party effectively.
Wike, who stated this on national television in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, maintained that the PDP remains the only credible alternative party that Nigerians are expecting to take over power in 2023, given the poor performance of the ruling All Progressives Congress, (APC).
“If you go to the public and ask Nigerians if PDP is ready to take over power in 2023, if you take referendum, you will know that Nigerians are even waiting for PDP. But the fear of Nigerians is whether PDP is ready to take over power. So, people are concerned about it. Obviously, it is ripe for PDP to take over, but you must be prepared to take over,” Wike said in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kelvin Ebiri.
“And we said with what we have now, it will be difficult to take over power in 2023 if there are no amendment. Leadership was the problem. The point is this, the current NWC, as it is today, cannot lead the party to victory. Nobody has said they have not done well, one way or the other, but we are talking about the challenges ahead.
“That is why we are pushing for the party to have other people to lead the party and to give it a different strength altogether. If you know APC, you know that you need a robust, determined leadership of the party (PDP) to make sure you match them word by word, action by action.”
Wike stated that anyone who loves the PDP and means well for the party will adhere to the resolutions reached after the intervention of the governors, Board of Trustees and elders to douse brewing crisis in the party.
The governor dismissed insinuation that he is nurturing a presidential ambition. He stated that his primary preoccupation is to see how the PDP could be better positioned to win the 2023 general elections.
On the issue of the amended Electoral Act, the governor said Nigerians are expecting President Mohammadu Buhari to veto the bill over the rejection of electronic transmission of election results by APC members in the National Assembly.
Wike accused President Muhammadu Buhari of supporting the position of APC members in the National Assembly even after he had attested publicly on how he benefitted from the introduction of the card reader device by former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
He stressed that the electronic transmission of results is at the centre of conducting credible and transparent elections, and it behooves Buhari to bequeath to Nigerians a credible electoral process as he had promised.
“Mr. President gave Nigerians the assurance that one of the legacies that he will leave is to make sure that we have credible and transparent elections. And one of the steps to show transparency is, let the election results be transmitted electronically,” Wike said.
“You remember when Mr. President was declared the winner of that election in 2015, he said that the introduction of the card reader was a good innovation. We thought he would have improved on that. But instead of improving on that, we are going backwards.”