Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and his Adamawa State counterpart, Ahmadu Fintiri, have reflected on the type of presidential candidate the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) needs to take over power in 2023.
While Wike was concerned about how and when the candidate would emerge, Fintiri, dwelled on the character and qualities of the candidate, saying he was not in support of zoning.
A statement signed by Wike’s Special Assistant, Media, Kelvin Ebiri, said the duo spoke when Wike paid a courtesy visit to Fintiri at the Government House, Yola, on Friday.
Wike and his entourage were in Yola to appreciate Fintiri, who was the Chairman of the PDP Convention Planning Committee for successfully conducting the exercise.
Wike said stakeholders in the party would at the right time collectively decide the party’s presidential candidate.
He said that the PDP was ready to take over power at the centre in 2023 following the success of its convention.
The Rivers state governor commended Fintiri and members of the PDP convention planning committee for making the party proud by conducting a transparent and rancour-free convention.
Nigerians believe that PDP has put themselves in a position to take over the affairs of this country. It was not easy”, he said.
Wike said that those, who had not participated in organising a party convention might presume it was an easy feat to accomplish.
He said: “At a time most people were expecting that it may not work out for PDP. It only did not work out well, it was peacefully conducted, the best ever conducted since PDP started.
“I believe that when people have done well, you commend them. When you give them another opportunity, they will put in their best. And that is one of the things I have come today to say my brother, you’ve done well with your people. You did not put us to shame.”
Wike noted that when he and others nominated Fintiri as the chairman of the convention planning committee, they never had any reservation about his capacity to deliver a credible and transparent convention.
” Today, Ahmadu Fintiri has become a household name in Nigerian politics, because of the convention he conducted very transparently. Thank you for what you have done for our great party”, he said.
The governor also used the occasion to shower encomium on Fintiri for his developmental strides in Adamawa State, particularly in Yola, the State capital.
He said: “How much does he get from the federation account,
yet he is able to judiciously put them into use for the interest and development of Adamawa State. If other people had done this within the city, he would have moved on to other areas that need attention. I want to plea to all of you to continue to give him the support.”
In his remarks, Fintiri said the successful conduct of the PDP convention had provided Nigerians, especially the younger generation, an alternative platform to elect the next Nigerian president in 2023.
He urged Wike, who he acknowledged contributed immeasurably to the success of the convention, not to relent in his support for the party in the years ahead.
He said: “We are not just colleagues, we are not just in the same party, we have discovered ourselves to be good friends and even metamorphosing into being brothers. This is what we need in this country.
“That is why I am not a supporter of those who are calling for zoning of the presidency. I am for those that are calling for good candidates that can bring this country together, and improve on the potentials that abound in both the humans and capital of Nigeria.
“But, I trust that whoever we are going to get as our presidential candidate in 2023, will be the person that Nigerians want, will be the person that understands this country, and will be the person that will pull this country together and put her where she belongs in the comity of nations.”
The Adamawa State governor said his administration had been doing its best to attract people into the party by embarking on human and infrastructural development.
“It is not easy considering the available resources, but through fiscal discipline and elimination of waste by in governance, we are able to save and put it into developmental projects.”
Fintiri commended all the PDP governors and other stakeholders of the party for giving his committee the opportunity to serve.
He said: “God, through his wisdom has seen us through. We have a stable party that is ready to take government in 2023. We must thank you for your thoughtfulness to come on this courtesy call to appreciate the little we were able to do in carrying out this assignment on behalf of all of us.”