Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State on Tuesday said then President Goodluck Jonathan pleaded with former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar to support his re-election bid in 2015 but the Adamawa-born politician rejected the entreaties of the former Bayelsa governor.
Wike stated this when Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State commissioned the Akpabu-Itu-Umudiogha road in the Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers.
According to him, Jonathan traveled to the Dorchester Hotel in London in 2015 to meet Atiku but rather, the former VP “embarrassed” Jonathan and told him to relinquish his ticket to him.
Wike, who contested the presidential primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won by Atiku in May, said he is not asking Atiku to step down as the party’s presidential candidate for the 2023 elections. He said, instead, Atiku should ensure the removal of Iyorchia Ayu as PDP national chairman for a southern replacement.
The Rivers governor said, “We forget history. In 2015 when Jonathan as a sitting President, I am not talking as a presidential candidate but as a sitting President, when he had won his primary, Jonathan went to London to Dorchester Hotel, he went to plead with Atiku Abubakar to come back to the party and support him.
“You know the condition he (Atiku) gave Jonathan? He should relinquish his ticket not to run as the President of Nigeria. That was the presidential candidate of a ruling party. He gave him a condition, telling him to relinquish that ticket.