2023 Elections: I Didn’t Rig Presidential Election Against Obi – Wike
Nyesom Wike, governor of River state, says he did not rig the presidential election against Peter Obi, candidate of the Labour Party (LP).
Obi came third with 6,101,533 votes in the February 25 elections won by Bola Tinubu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress.
Friday, Alex Ogbonnia, the national publicity secretary of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, said in a statement that Wike spoke on Thursday, during a meeting with members of the group in Port Harcourt, Rivers state capital.
A viral audio recording purportedly of Wike had claimed that he bribed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials to rig the presidential election. TheCable found the video to be from 2016.
Peter Aneke, speaking on behalf of the Igbo socio-political group, during the meeting, had confronted Wike over the allegations of rigging.
Aneke said he wondered why despite the contiguity between the people of the south-east and Rivers state, Wike would “work against the Igbo in a presidential race where the candidacy of Peter Obi was a low-hanging fruit”.
He told the governor that the Igbo all over the world were aggrieved and sad that Obi would win in Lagos, Abuja, and other places in the north, only to record so low in Rivers.
Responding, Wike explained that the southern governors’ forum had agreed that power must shift to the south after President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said throughout their meetings, the issue of the presidency to the south-east was never on the table.
Wike said his commitment to the south motivated him to provide logistics for Obi when he was in the Rivers for presidential campaigns, noting that he refused to provide campaign ground for Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The governor said “what is circulating on the social media is the handiwork of the Wike adversaries” and queried if Ohanaeze Ndigbo ever requested him to support Obi.
He added that he is a “man with the courage of his convictions and that he neither has reasons to tell lies nor to owe an apology to anyone”.
Wike said he is “always ready to defend his actions any day any time” and added that he “did not rig the presidential election against Peter Obi”.