The Southern Youth Alliance (SOYA), an umbrella group of southern youths, has responded to the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, over his irascible outburst against former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar concerning the contest for the presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 election.
A statement signed by the Rivers State coordinator of the group, Ziad Fubara said that the comment by Wike was in bad taste and capable of causing unnecessary division in the party.
According to the group, “the remark made by Governor Nyesom Wike seeking to discredit the presidential aspiration of Atiku Abubakar, a frontline politician and statesman is condemnable.
“We therefore want to put it on record that the governor has acted irresponsibly with his odious remarks. We condemn the attack on the person of Atiku Abubakar by Governor Wike and want to make it clear that it is Wike that is indeed causing rancour and division within the PDP.
“We are a youth group and just recently expressed our endorsement and willingness to support the candidature of Atiku Abubakar in the contest for the presidential ticket of the PDP in 2023.
“It is our expectation that if Governor Wike has a presidential ambition himself or is supporting someone else, he should be focused on advocating for such aspirations, rather than always throwing gratuitous attacks at His Excellency Atiku Abubakar.
“It is not logical to affirm that the PDP will work with any candidate who picks the presidential ticket while at the same time you keep on making undecorated remarks at one of the presidential hopefuls of the party.
“What Atiku has said is what is normal for any contender in a race. Even a Primary School pupil will not answer in the negative if asked whether he or she would pass in a Common Entrance examination.
“Today, there are 13 PDP governors in the country. Why is Governor Wike the only one always talking about the 2023 election and consistently attacking Atiku? Why does Wike think that he can talk for the delegates of the party? As far as the primary election for the PDP presidential ticket is concerned, Governor Wike has only one vote. He therefore has no right to think and act on behalf of esteemed delegates of the PDP. He should simply mind his business and refocus his energy on constructive building of the party.
“We recall that the first time that Mr. Nyesom Wike was nominated as a minister under the presidency of His Excellency Goodluck Jonathan, there was a public outcry about the then president nominating a character with unprintable names as a member of the Federal Executive Council. We dare say that it is a shame that by his conduct up till now, and especially on his uncouth vituperation against an elder statesman like Atiku Abubakar, it is obvious what people say a home divided is a home destroyed.
“We therefore wish to advise the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, to desist from making careless and thoughtless remarks in his futile attempt to compromise the presidential aspiration of His Excellency Atiku Abubakar. We say this with all sense of responsibility that we shall stand as one indivisible party and we shall by no means tolerate any iota of mudslinging and divisive rhetoric.”