A former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Kola Ologbondiyan, has said that Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, is free to associate with any politician.
Premium Politics reported that Wike has held several meetings with politicians from the opposition parties amid the ongoing internal crisis of the PDP caused by Abubakar Atiku’s selection of Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowo, as his running mate for the 2023 presidential election over Wike.
Wike’s recently met with Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, again, as well as former governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko on Monday night.
Other top politicians like former Cross River Governor, Donald Duke; Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom; Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, Gombe State ex-governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo; and a host of others were also at Wike’s private residence in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, where the meeting held.
However, Ologbondiyan who spoke during a recent interview on Arise TV stated that the party is working frantically to put its house in order and resolve its internal crisis.
Asked about Wike’s meeting with opposition political figures, Ologbondiyan said the governor was at liberty to associate with politicians from other camps as such was within his rights.
“I know it and I believe that Governor Nyesom Wike is savvier politically to go and put the life of his own political machinery into an arrangement that will stop its candidates from winning elections. I know he will not do a thing like that and I am very confident about that.
“I know it as a fact that Governors Samuel Ortom is contesting for Senate in Benue and the senate and presidential elections come up on the same day and same time.
“I know Governor Ikpeazu has senatorial interest too. So you think that they would sit down as politicians and seed out that out to a party that they don’t have conviction about its performance? That is not the way politicians do their thing and I am sure of that,” the PDP ex-spokesman said.
“He (Wike) is at liberty to associate with them. It is until Governor Wike picks APC or other political parties’ membership cards then we can conclude he has left the party. Until then, he remains a member of PDP.
“For us in the party, what is important is how we will win the 2023 election. What is important to us as a party is how we will relieve Nigerians from the burden of APC and President Muhammdu Buhari,” Ologbondiyan added.
Continuing, he said, “Well, there is so much hysteria in the public space over what Governor Wike is doing; how PDP will survive and all that. But there are ways that politics work and there are things that you see in politics that hardly border you.
“Because there are interests that are stronger than what you are seeing in the public. Firstly, what is strange about Governor Wike inviting people from the opposition party to come and commission projects? He has been doing that and I can recall that he once invited Senator Ali Ndume, Senator Rochas Okorocha and in all these instances there were no issues about if Governor Wike was going to APC.
“The discussion then was that he was trying to attract these people to come and join the PDP. So, he has not done something far from what he has been doing before. But having said that, you talked about Peter Obi going to Rivers State and hobnobbing with PDP governors and Wike, we must recall that prior to that meeting, Peter Odili celebrated his 74th birthday and people were there so it is not strange.
“And it won’t be a surprise if Peter Obi on his own consider it necessary to meet up with Wike because he is looking for votes and he can go to anybody. That is what politicians do when he or she is looking for votes.”