Rivers state governor Nyesom Wike has insisted that he is not plotting to influence the outcome of the presidential primary of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Political gladiators seeking the party’s ticket to challenge President Muhammadu Buhari and other candidates in the 2019 elections will know their fate latest on Sunday after the party’s elective convention in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, on Saturday, October 6.
The aspirants are former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar; the Senate President, Bukola Saraki; and Sokoto state Governor, Aminu Tambuwal.
Others are Tambuwal’s equivalent in Gombe, Ibrahim Dankwambo; former Kano state Governor Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso; and former Kaduna state Governor Ahmed Makarfi.
Also gunning for the party’s ticket are former Senate President David Mark; former Plateau state Governor Jonah Jang; former Jigawa state Governor Sule Lamido; Atahiru Bafarawa; Tanimu Turaki; Datti Baba-Ahmed; and Stanley Osifo.
But there have been speculations that the Rivers governor lobbied to ensure that the state won the rights to host the convention because of his alleged plot to decide for the party’s delegates.
But Wike reiterated on Friday that nobody, no matter how influential, can control the voting pattern of delegates from 36 States and Abuja.
“I have a right to vote as a delegate. But my influence is minimal. Those talking about this don’t have the facts,” he said, according to his media aide, Simeon Nwakaudu.
“Are you saying that as Governor of Rivers State, I will place a gun on the head of all delegates to vote a particular candidate.
“I cannot compel all the 14 governors to vote a particular aspirant. You mean you can change the views and opinions of all the states?”
The governor said that he would work with other party leaders to ensure that the convention was transparent and credible.