Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has said that his decision on which presidential candidate to back will be unveiled next month.
He was, however, not forthcoming on the specific date.
Governor Wike spoke at the inauguration of the Rumuokwurusi- Elimgbu Flyover in Rumuokwurusi Town, Obio-Akpor Local Government Area, on Thursday.
He said that beginning January 2023, he will embark on a state-wide campaign tour to tell Rivers people who to vote in the presidential election.
He said that after that, he will embark on a nationwide campaign tour for his preferred presidential candidate. According to Wike, Nigerians need to know a reliable candidate they can trust to deliver the required national transformation with the expected capability and results.
“So, from January next year, I will campaign to my people who they will vote for. So, all of you who have been in suspense, saying all kinds of things, abusing me, wait, January has come. Not only will I tell them where they will vote, I will move from state to state and tell them why they should vote for the person I think they should vote for. Nothing will happen”, he said.
Governor Wike pointed to the ills some people have caused with their political inconsistency, associations and philosophy and wondered if they can, in good conscience, say they have been fair to Nigerians and are fit to lead them.
“Those of you who have never been stable, you move from PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) to there, and you moved from there back to PDP. Those of you who campaigned in 2015 telling Nigerians if they vote for PDP, they are voting for insurgency. If they vote for PDP, they’re voting for corruption.
“Wait, all of us will reply. We will tell Nigerians this thing that you said, how far now. Where do you still stand now? Is it the same PDP or a new PDP?” he said.
Governor Wike insisted that going into an election and winning the needed victory is beyond mere appearances on television shows, casting aspersions on others and talking big.
“So, all of you appearing on television abusing me, don’t waste your saliva again. January has come. All those of you telling Nigerians that you used to have 40 shoes and 50 wristwatches, the time has come to convert those shoes and wristwatches to votes. It’s not to be on the podium and raise your shoes high. And raise your wristwatch high. Time has come to convert it to votes”, Wike said in a veiled jab at the PDP presidential spokesman, Dino Melaye.
Governor Wike also advised some Rivers politicians who now reside in Abuja to know that the 2023 election will confirm who truly has political influence on the Rivers electorate.
He said the 2023 general election will also be used to retire these politicians and urged them to return home and do their campaigns.
“Let me also use the opportunity to advise those who said they are our brothers in Abuja. This 2023 election will confirm to us in Rivers State who influences voters.
“Who are those that their people will listen to and vote? It is not only for you to be in Abuja and tell them whatever you’re telling them. Come home because our polling booths will not be in Abuja.”
He further added, “This election will retire people in 2023. If they win us, we go. If we win them, they go. In fact, they have already gone.”
Governor Wike also said his administration has established a new political concept that will deepen understanding on how to endear the electorate and secure their votes.
He explained that the PDP in Rivers State will not engage in vote buying but will depend on the numerous projects executed in all the twenty-three Local Government Areas, consistent payment of pension and gratuity by his administration to win the 2023 general election.