The governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, said he would no longer be part of the effort to get Governor Godwin Obaseki secure the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the forthcoming governorship election in Edo state.
The party is holding its primary in Edo on Thursday.
Some PDP governorship aspirants in Edo State have insisted they would not step down for Mr Obaseki who defected to the party a few days ago after he was disqualified by his former party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) from taking part in its primary.
One of the PDP aspirants has filed a case in court, seeking to bar the embattled Edo governor from contesting the PDP primary.
Mr Wike stated on Twitter on Tuesday that he was withdrawing from Mr Obaseki’s case because of some “senseless accusation” made against him in ThisDay newspaper.
Mr Wike posted a photo of himself brandishing a copy of ThisDay newspaper with a banner headline, ‘With a Friend Like Wike, Obaseki Meets His PDP’s Waterloo; Almost’.
The story, published on Tuesday, alleges a connection between Mr Wike and the moves to use a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt to stop Mr Obaseki from participating in the Edo PDP primary.
The report said Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, the Edo PDP governorship aspirant who filed the court case, is Mr Wike’s ally.
“As a result of this senseless accusation, I have pulled out of Edo State settlement,” Mr Wike said on Tuesday via his personal Twitter handle @GovWike. “My integrity matters”.
Mr Wike said he had sleepless nights, making attempts to resolve Governor Obaseki’s issues in PDP.
“The Governors of Edo, Adamawa, and Delta states, know what I have done to resolve the issues in Edo state,” he said.
“I am brought up not to accept injustice, and that is why I keep speaking out on national issues. Nobody in PDP can intimidate Rivers State.
“Nobody can threaten me because I said things must be done constitutionally. I will always continue to satisfy my conscience.”
Mr Wike said some members of the PDP National Working Committee were behind the ThisDay story.
“They are tax collectors. Let them challenge me and I will come out with more facts,” he said, adding that he has asked his lawyers to write to the paper.
“Nobody will rubbish me by raising false accusations against me. I will fight back.
“I will no longer participate in any reconciliation and I wonder why the NWC now wants to consult Governors of the party.”
From Mr Wike’s outburst, it appears the trouble of getting a party ticket is not yet over for Mr Obaseki whose ambition for a second term as governor came under serious threat after he fell apart with his predecessor, Adams Oshiomhole, the suspended national chairman of APC.