Wike to George: ‘It’s my right to support any candidate’


Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State hit back yesterday at Chief Olabode George  who, on Friday, pulled out of the PDP chairmanship race because of  the governor’s ‘insult on  the Yoruba’ .

Wike said George’s action was nothing short of exhibition of failure.

“With all due respect, George is supposed to be seen as a father, what he did yesterday (Friday) was to exhibit failure,’’ the governor said in Abuja.

George, he added, failed to change the fortune of the party in his zone when the opportunity presented itself, and declared that the PDP would become stronger after the convention regardless of the withdrawal of George and other aspirants from the race.

He described the former deputy chairman of the PDP as one of the founding fathers and could not run away from it.

“He has to remain in the party to join in rebuilding it,’’ Wike said.

On his alleged  sponsorship of candidates, the governor said he has every right like any other person to support candidates at  the convention.

His words: “You know in politics you hear a lot of stories. I have a right to support any candidate of my choice, and I do not see how that can be said to be imposition.

“Making statements that some people have hijacked the party is not correct. With all due respect, we are not playing sentiments, the people know what they want.”

George, in throwing in the towel on Friday had accused Wike of insulting the Yoruba race in a television interview.

He asked  Wike to tender  an unreserved apology to the Yoruba.

The PDP BoT member who stood for the party‘s micro-zoning principle said that the South-West was already cheated with the entrant of aspirants from the South-South.

He also alleged that the PDP chairmanship position had been sold to the highest bidder.

He said: “It appears the PDP is bent on self-destruction, I can’t be part of this, the chairmanship position has been sold to the highest bidder.

“It appears that PDP has lost its soul. I cannot be part of this criminal allegation, the PDP is now mangled.

“I hereby withdraw from the fraud as a Yoruba patriot, I will stand for our people,’’ George said while announcing his withdrawal from the race.

He added that he entered the race due to the micro zoning arrangement which he said had been trashed. He, however, explained that he did not step down from the race for anybody, but for the process and on principle, adding that his measure of experience was too heavy.