Nyesom Wike, the Governor of Rivers State has spoken after returning from London.
He said he and his team are still consulting widely with those who mean well for the country.
The governor spoke at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, Ikwerre Local Government Area, shortly after his arrival from London, on Friday.
He was accompanied Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue and his Abia counterpart, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu.
Wike, who confirmed their meetings with Peoples Democratic Party, presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; All Progressives Congress Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi and former President Olusegun Obasanjo, explained that top most on their agenda is how to make Nigeria better than what is it currently.
“I can confirm that this is the first time as a team that we are meeting with presidential candidates. We met with the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC and we met with our leader, former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo.
“We met the presidential candidate of Labour Party. We also met with our presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar. For whatever it’s worth, consultation is ongoing. Whatever we are talking about, is for the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians. It is not parochial and tied to one person or group of persons. We believe that with what is going on, it will be for the interest of Nigerians at the end of the day.”
The governor said leadership should not be about one individual and the interest of his family, but about the collective interest.
“Consultation is still ongoing. Never mind some people who do not believe in the existence of this country. Leadership is not about you and your family. Leadership is about everybody. It’s unfortunate that we are in a country now where a man finishes eight years as a governor and brings his own son as a governor too and as member of National Assembly.
“It’s only in this part of the world that you can see that, when we are talking about poverty everywhere. These are people who do not mean well for Nigeria.”
Wike also wondered why religion and ethnicity are being used to judge some Nigerians where competence is required.
“The only identity they have in this country is religion and ethnicity, nothing more. It’s either, I’m a Christian or I’m a Moslem, I’m a Fulani or I’m an Igbo. Nigeria cannot move forward except they think it will be them. That’s where we are.
“We are in a country where someone with primary school certificate can be appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs. That tells you how bad this country has become. But with our consultation, all these will be a thing of the past. No amount of intimidation or blackmail will deter us. We are determined to right the wrong.”
In his response, Ortom said they met with renowned persons in the last few days because of their belief that Nigeria is in distress and concerted effort is required to rescue it.
He stated that they had fruitful talks with those they met and it was beyond partisan politics, “because well-meaning Nigerians need to work together in ensuring that Nigeria survives.
“For us, we are looking at the larger picture. Nigeria today is in distress. It is about what can we do. No man or woman alone can get it right for our country.
“We are looking at how we can harness ideas and put ourselves together to ensure that we get out of the present challenge we are in Nigeria today. From top to bottom, consider what has happened from 2015 and where we are today. So, what we are doing is a concern that we have for our country, Nigeria. This is beyond partisan politics. We are looking on how we can come together and find a way of ensuring that Nigeria survives. Nigeria is on drip, Nigeria is on oxygen and it is about how can we get out of this.”
On his part, Ikpeazu emphasised that they were determined to find a way to rescue Nigeria.