Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, on Friday, returned from a five-day trip abroad.
The governor travelled out of the country on Monday with his political allies and met with Bola Ahmed Tinubu, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC); Peter Obi of Labour Party and Atiku Abubakar of the PDP.
Fielding questions from journalists at the Port-Harcourt International Airport, the governor said his meeting with the political leaders was borne out of his passion for the progress of Nigeria.
“For whatever it’s worth, consultation is ongoing. Whatever we are talking about, is in 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 in the interest of Nigerians at the end of the day,” he said.
“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 a member of the national assembly.
“It is 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 to this Nigeria.
“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 Muslim, 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 a primary school certificate can be appointed minister of foreign affairs. That tells you how bad this country has become.
“But with our consultations, 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.”
Also speaking, Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue said: “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 at how we can come together and find a way of ensuring that Nigeria survives. Nigeria is on a drip, Nigeria is on oxygen and it is about how can we get out of this.
“We have individually also had earlier commitments in Europe even if consultations are still going on because nothing concrete has been decided. The consultation is going on and will continue to go on. We are still going to meet here.”