Dino Melaye, governorship aspirant for Kogi governorship election, says Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, lobbied to become running mate to Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 elections.
Mr Melaye who spoke in an interview with Arise TV on Wednesday claimed governor Wike called him 19 times within two hours while lobbying to become the running mate to Atiku Abubakar.
The Rivers governor had initially vied to become PDP’s presidential flag-bearer at the February 25 election and vowed not to become running mate to any of the then aspirants but lost the party’s ticket to Mr Atiku
On Tuesday, TheCable reported that governor Wike said Melaye, vying for PDP’s governorship ticket in Kogi, does not have what it takes to be governor.
“Nigerians should not be fooled. That integrity and equity that he (Wike) is always clamouring, he does not possess one per cent of it. He will tell you he wants a southern presidency, that is why he is fighting but that is a bogus lie,” Melaye said.
“Wike wanted to be vice-presidential candidate to Atiku. He (Wike) called me 19 times in two hours when Atiku was going to mention his vice-presidential candidate, lobbying me with everything possible to influence Atiku to announce him as his running mate. I have witnesses.”
Mr Melaye added that Wike’s opposition against him was because he refused to support his “myopic” presidential ambition.
“Wike was my biggest supporter; he was my biggest fan to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. He did not just support my primaries, he provided his private jet to drop me in Kogi on the day of the primary election and called me repeatedly thereafter,” he added.
“That means Wike saw something in me in 2019 for supporting me. He knew I was a gubernatorial material and fit to be governor, hence his investment and support as the case may be.
“So, what now happened between 2019 and 2023 that he is now saying I am not fit to be a governor — somebody you supported materially and otherwise. But suddenly because I am not a bootlicker, and the fact that I refused to participate in your very myopic and intellectually stagnant presidential ambition, you now see me as someone that is not fit and start using foul languages on my person.”