by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
The River State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has bared his mind on the nation’s insecurity issue, saying, “The insecurity, hardship and poverty is everywhere in Nigeria and we are more concern about the insecurity in Nigeria.
“Nigeria is bleeding and is waiting for People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Plateau is an exception; it is not about Christians or Muslims and is not about North or South killings,” he said.
Speaking to journalists shortly after witnessing the case filed against former Senator Jonah Jang by EFCC at the Jos High Court on Wednesday, for alleged N6.3 billion fraud, Wike said “The only hope Nigeria has now is for the PDP; and so it requires collective efforts of everybody and, if we don’t work as a team, Nigerians will not be happy.”
On his ambition in 2023, the River State Governor said he has not said he is running for any presidential election. “We want our party to be united, and the important thing is that you must have a party before you talk of election. Without a party, what is the essence of running for election?”
He expressed delight, saying, “Plateau is ripe for the PDP to take over, because APC has performed woefully, as far as Nigeria and the State is concerned. I stand to be challenged by anybody.”
Wike urged members of the PDP – those with political ambitions ahead of 2023 general elections – to shelve such for now and focus on how to unite the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to salvage the country from (what he described as) “the shackles of maladministration.”
He said, there is the need for the right thing to be done. The problem of PDP is not about materials, but it is about individuals, who can move the country forward, saying, “We have the material but what we are contending now is everybody must come together, make sacrifices and see how we can move forward.”
While urging all individuals to keep their aspirations and focus on how the party will be united so as to salvage the country and also salvage Plateau State, Gov Nyesom Wike added that, “The unity of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is very critical to winning the 2023 presidential election.”
He said his visit to the State was to bring forth unity between the two parties leaders: PDP leaders in the state, Gen. Jeremiah Useni (rtd) and Senator Jonah David.
He assured that, they will do everything possible between the ambit of the constitution to support him and to show solidarity. “I’m here to bring unity between the two great party leaders, Jonah Jang and General J.T. Useni. We want our party to be united before the forthcoming general elections.
While urging all party leaders and supporters to come together so as to move the party forward, Governor Wike stated that, “Tribalism, nepotism and religious differences we faced today is all over the country, and Nigerians are waiting for PDP to take over power; and, in achieving that, we must work collectively together in unity for us to achieve such.”
Counsel to Sen. Jang, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Ozekhome, while commenting on the court trial, said “It is clear that all witnesses, who came under cross-examination, have so far vindicated the former Executive Governor, Jonah David Jang; that he is innocent to the alleged criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of Plateau State funds.”
He was speaking shortly after court proceedings, adding that, “Only time is delaying the innocence of Jang in the matter. All the witnesses we took today, most respectively have actually strengthened our case more than ever before. The two billion naira loan that was taken by the Plateau State Government was not taken by his Excellency former Governor, Senator Jonah David Jang.”
According to him, “The witnesses made it clear that, no amount or sum of money – not even one kobo – was traced to his (Jang’s) personal account, the account of his wife, account of his children and account of his relation.
“This is a governor whose detriment tendered before this court shows that even when he left office, he was still paying back the loans he had collected to buy a house,” Mike Ozekhome stated, and urged the general, saying, “Be calm and, by the grace of God, the innocent, righteous shall be vindicated at God’s own appropriate time.”