Rivers state governor Nyesom Wike said on Friday that his team was more interested in a better Nigeria and that they consult a lot with those who do the best for the country.
Wike spoke as he interacted with journalists at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa in Ikwerre Local Government Area, shortly after arriving from London on Friday.
In the company of Rivers State Governor, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, and Abia State Governor, Dr. Okay Ikpeazu.
Wike, who confirmed their meetings with the People’s Democratic Party presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar; All Progressive Congress presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu; Labor Party presidential candidate Peter Obi and former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo in London explained that the main thing on the agenda is how to make Nigeria better than it is today.
The Governor of Rivers State noted that things are not going well for Nigeria and they are looking for solutions that will restore lasting hope in Nigeria.
He said: “I can confirm that this is the first time that we meet presidential candidates as a team.
“We met with the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, APC, and we met with our leader, former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo.
“We met the Labor Party presidential candidate. We also met our presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar. For whatever it’s worth, consultation is underway.
“Whatever we are talking about, it is in the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians. It is not parochial and tied to one person or group of people.
“We believe that with what is going on, it will ultimately be in the interest of the Nigerians.”
Wike denounced the situation where standard, training and competence have always been exchanged for mediocrity.
He said that leadership should not be about one individual and the interest of his family, but about the collective interest of everyone.
“The consultation is still ongoing. Never mind that there are people who don’t believe in the existence of this country.
“Leadership is not about you and your family. Leadership is about everyone. It is a pity that we are now in a country where a man ends eight years as governor and brings his own son also as governor and as a member of the National Assembly.
“It’s only in this part of the world that you see that when we talk about poverty everywhere. These are people who don’t mean well with this Nigeria,” he said
Wike also wondered why religion and ethnicity are used as the tenable identity to describe Nigerians when proficiency is required.
Further, Wike said, “The only identity they have in this country is religion and ethnicity, that’s all. It’s either, I’m a Christian or I’m a Muslim, I’m a Fulani or I’m an Igbo. Nigeria cannot move forward unless they think they will. That’s where we are.
“We are in a country where someone with a primary school diploma can be appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs. That tells you how bad this country has become.
“But with our consultation, this is all a thing of the past. No form of intimidation or blackmail will deter us. We are determined to right the wrong.”
In response, the team’s leader and Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom noted that they have met famous individuals in recent days because of their belief that Nigeria is in distress and that concerted efforts are needed to save it.
He stated that they had fruitful conversations with those they met and that it was outside of partisan politics as well-meaning Nigerians must work together to ensure Nigeria’s survival.
“For us, we look at the bigger picture. Nigeria is in distress today. It’s about what we can do. No man or woman alone can do good for our country.
“We are looking at how we can leverage ideas and bundle ourselves together to make sure we get out of the current challenge we have in Nigeria today.
“Consider from head to toe what has happened since 2015 and where we are now. So what we do is a concern we have for our country, Nigeria.
“This goes beyond party politics. We look at how we can come together and find a way to make sure Nigeria survives. Nigeria is on the IV, Nigeria is on the oxygen and it’s about how we get out of this,” Ortom said.
He stated that the three separate meetings they had within a week were a valuable session for them.
“The consultation is ongoing and will continue. We’re going to meet here again. We’re going to meet some people another time and see how we can make the project Nigeria work.”
For his part, the governor of the state of Abia, Dr. Okay Ikpeazu, that they are on a mission and determined to find a way to save Nigeria.
He noted that they are aware of what society leaves to the current generation, their children and grandchildren.
He said: “And this is a country with great potential and we need to protect it well. We think we need to commit across the board.
“We are also looking at conversations with civil society organizations and people with ideas, with Nigerians in the diaspora.
“All the resources available in this country should come together at this time to see how we can best move Nigeria forward.”