Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Wednesday, has kicked against what his Ebonyi State counterpart, Dave Umahi, said by calling him a dictator who controls the structure of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Wike in reaction to Umahi’s assertion appeared on Channels Television’s programme, Politics Today, on Wednesday evening and insisted it was wrong for Umahi to claim he singlehandedly imposed Uche Secondus as PDP National Chairman.
Umahi stated this in reaction to Wike’s comment that he left the PDP for the All Progressives Congress (APC) because of his 2023 presidential ambition.
Umahi officially confirmed his defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday.
He said at a press briefing in Abakaliki that he dumped the PDP because of the injustice meted out to the South-East despite several years of loyalty to the party.
But Wike disagreed with his Ebonyi counterpart on his reason for leaving the party, saying the South-East had benefitted immensely from the PDP since 1999.
However, in his reaction to the statement credited to the Rivers State governor, Umahi described Wike as a dictator whose actions were destroying the PDP.
He added that Wike’s “dictatorial tendencies and overbearing influence on the party’s affairs had made other governors to be unhappy with him.”
He warned the Rivers governor to desist from attacking him “as it would be very dangerous if both of them continue attacking each other.”
He added that his colleague was free to exercise his fundamental right of association but was wrong to threaten the PDP with his exit.
Wike said: “If there is one person that has supported Umahi, it is me. But for him to threaten the party is wrong.
“Umahi wants to run for President of Nigeria but he has no right to threaten anybody. Politics is dialogue and diplomacy.
“But who tells him that he is the only qualified South-East person to be president?”
He also accused Umahi of “insulting the intelligence of the South-East people” by claiming to have the interest of the region at heart while he pursued his ambition.
“If you watch him today on Arise TV, he said one of the reasons he is leaving the PDP is that Wike is a dictator. Wike controls the party. Which one do we take now? Was Wike in charge from 1999? When did Wike become relevant?”
“He (Umahi) called me on Monday and told me he wanted to move and I said, you are free. However, check yourself, check your conscience, if you satisfied, you are free,” the Rivers governor added.