OVATION Publisher, Bashorun DELE MOMODU Tells City People
OVATION Publisher, Bashorun Dele Momodu has revealed why Gov. Nyesom Wike has stopped talking to him. He has also revealed why he did not support Asiwaju Bola Tinubu during the last Presidential campaign.
In a recent interview with City People, he said: After Gov. Nyesom Wike stopped talking to me for months, I called one of those close to him. I called Adoke, the former Attorney General & Minister of Justice. I know they are close and I asked him: what is going on? Why is this my brother ignoring me? This is someone who we virtually stay together with from morning till evening anytime I go to Port Harcourt to see him. And we have that mutual respect. And then Adoke called Wike. And said to Gov. Wike. “Dele Momodu is not happy ooo. He feels you are ignoring him. And immediately, Wike called me. He said, Dele, why would you think so? You know me. You know I don’t pretend. If I have anything against you, I will tell you. I said, but it’s strange. You don’t pick up my calls. He said No, no, no, I don’t like it you mean you can’t vouch for me? So even if I die today you will not be able to say things that I can do and things I can’t do.” “After, he went back into his shell. Then, I started travelling round the country and I felt well, at my age, my life does not depend on anyone except God. So, if I was expecting my friend to support my dreams and I was also ready to support his dreams. No problems. Because what I had expected him to say was: I am running. And then between us, we can agree, maybe I will decide to step down because of him or something. But he refused to discuss it with me”.
“So, the next time we met was when we were doing our screening at the PDP National Secretariat in Abuja. As he walked in that day, and he saw me, we were like old buddies. In fact, there were governors in the room. One of them was Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom. Immediately, Gov. Wike saw me, he shouted Haaa! Dele Momodu. He embraced me. He was very excited. Even Gov. Udom said I thought you wanted to greet me first. That is the kind of relationship that I have with Gov. Wike. Then he said let’s meet in the evening at Rivers Governors Lodge. Again, he disappeared after that. I started calling him, but he didn’t pick”.
“So, I said No problem. But I carried on with my own programme. I travelled round the country to see the Sultan, the Emir of Kano and to see our party elders. That was it”.
“Then, as the party primaries were coming, one of those I went to see was former Ekiti Governor, Ayo Fayose at The George Hotel, in Ikoyi. When I got there he said Bros, you know me, I don’t deceive people ooo. Me, I am totally for Wike. Wike is the next President of Nigeria oooo. I said How? He said Noo. There is nothing I can say. Wike is in control of everywhere and everything. And there is nothing that can change that. I said ok, he is my brother if he becomes President I am okay with him. There is no problem”.
“But from what I know, there will be every effort to stop him. Nobody listened to me. So, we went to the primaries and what happened, happened and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar emerged the winner. And all hell went loose. In fact, the way one of the former Presidents of Nigeria, described it to me is that Wike is inconsolable. That was the 1st time I first heard the description of his anger. He went totally ballistic. And we kept hoping against hope that he would soon calm down. He didn’t.
And, in fairness to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, he is a perfect Gentleman. He is a consummate democrat. He went all out. He didn’t look at age. He didn’t look at his status. He went all out. He went as far as London to go and meet with Wike and the G5 Governors. They had dinner. If you are quarreling with somebody, and the person comes to you to appeal to you won’t you reconsider your stand? Okay. He said they made promises to him which was not fulfilled, that they said they were going to make him Vice President. But what you also have to know in politics is this. No 1. If a Governor Tambuwal had stepped down. There is no way you will not take his interest into consideration. If truly, as Wike claims, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu had helped Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, do you expect Atiku to become his albatross? No.”
“I know as an insider that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar was never desperate. Atiku had wanted to work from the beginning with Wike, but after it seemed everything was ok and ready, then Wike started running his own show. And part of what Alhaji Atiku Abubakar said was that if the party decides to zone, to the South, I will support it being zoned to the South East. He had always believed that the South East was marginalised and that is why he picked his running mate always from that axis, even Gov. Okowa that is from Delta is virtually an Igbo man. His name is Ifeanyi Chukwu.“
“So, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has a soft spot for Igbo people. He married from the place. He has children from the place. He said if my party decides, I will not run. What now happened is that Governor Otom and the rest of them made sure that they threw open the thing so that it will accommodate Wike & others.”
“I remember the day I bought my own form, I was one of the people who challenged them that: why are we buying the form when you have not determined where the zoning would go. What if zoning goes against where I come from, are you going to refund my money?
“But, because everything was being tailor-made for Gov. Wike, all of us became helpless. So, he had always been the one controlling the party for years now. The Chairman of the party he will bring him and bring him down. Another Chairman will come and he will bring him and when he is tired or when he is not satisfied with the person, he too will go. It happened to his own brother, Prince Uche Secondus.”
“And he knows of course, that even if you remove Ayu at the time he called for Ayu’s removal because Ayu is a Northerner and the Presidential candidate is a Northerner, that one of them had to come from the South, he knows that the Constitution of the party says if you remove the current Chairman, the person who will replace him will still come from the same axis in the North. And that is what happened now. You can see that our new acting Chairman is also a Northerner. And for you to do a proper effective removal, you will need a National Convention, in the middle of a Presidential campaign. Who will have the time and resources to do such a thing? These were some of the issues we were addressing. Of course, he got very angry that I agree to work for Atiku Abubakar.
I don’t know what is wrong with that. No 1. I did not beg for a job from Wike, just like I did not beg for a job from the PDP Presidential Council. Alhaji Atiku personally calls me to tell me that everybody is mentioning my name as the best person to run the Directorate of Strategic Communications. And this is something that has to do with my profession. It has nothing to do with Politics. I was available for my party. What do you want me to do? To follow you sheepishly. There are people who were ready to follow him. He had more than enough, but I chose not to be one of them. That is my right. I will be 63 on May 16, 2023. At 63, if I am not able to take decisions then what manner of adult am I? What manner of leader will not be independently minded. I am a very independent-minded person. I remember when I met Mrs. Tinubu at the Funeral of Mrs. Kemi Nelson, and she asked me: Do you mean you are not going to campaign for my husband? I told her very politely, I am in PDP. I can’t jump away from PDP because my friend is running in APC. And I stand by my decision. I have never been in the same party with them. Nobody complained then. They were in power in Lagos for 8 years, did they see me there? No. I run my show. I hold Asiwaju in high esteem, but we are just not in the same party.”
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