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Northern president: Wike misinterpreted Atiku’s comment because he was watching Madrid, Barcelona match – Bwala

The spokesman for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential campaign, Daniel Bwala, has said that Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, misinterpreted the comment of the…

The spokesman for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential campaign, Daniel Bwala, has said that Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, misinterpreted the comment of the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, because he was engrossed in a football match between Barcelona and Real Madrid over the weekend.

Atiku recently came under fire for his comment in Kaduna State during an interactive session with Arewa Joint Committee last Saturday.

Atiku had said northerners need somebody of northern extraction and not a Yoruba or Igbo president.

“I know the whole of this country. I have built bridges across this country. I think what an average northerner needs is somebody who is from the north, who also understands the other parts of Nigeria, and who has been able to build bridges across the rest of the country. This is what the northerner needs.

“He (the northerner) doesn’t need a Yoruba or an Igbo candidate. This is what the northerner needs. I stand before you as a pan-Nigerian of northern origin,” Atiku had said.

Wike, who said he found the statement hard to believe, said if true, the PDP needs to apologize to Nigerians.

He said, “I don’t know how those who are packaging the presidential candidate will allow him to make such a statement. I was reading where somebody was saying that it was a direct response to a question he was asked.

“Be that as it may, I don’t think that it was necessary at this time. As people who are going in for election, as people who want Nigerians to trust them to have allowed such a statement to be made, if the (statement) was made, as they said, I think, as a party, we need to apologise to Nigerians — assuming the statement was made.”

Responding to Wike’s remark on Arise TV, the PDP presidential campaign spokesman, Bwala, said Atiku’s comment was misinterpreted by Wike, adding that the governor should apologize to the party for not confirming the meaning from the presidential candidate.

He said, “Apart from the comment being misunderstood and misinterpreted, you will see that it’s only the All Progressives Congress that have gone to the market and tried to cry foul and give all manner of misinterpretations to it. People like the Labour Party and others have not looked at it. I think Labour Party is more mature than the APC, looking at the issues.

“But let me even clear the comment. Atiku Abubakar was at Arewa House during a northern caucus meeting where a question was posed to him as an Arewa man on what he would do to Arewa people. Remember, Atiku Abubakar isn’t the only Arewa man in the contest; there is Kwankwaso.

“So, Atiku needed to distinguish himself in the first place because the question asked was: as an Arewa man, what would you do to the Arewa? In other words, how do you incorporate the interests of the Arewa people?

Bwala added that Wike’s inability to comprehend the statement was because he was watching a football match between his (Wike’s) team, Real Madrid, and Barcelona.

“When that comment was made, I’m sure Governor Wike was watching Real Madrid vs Barcelona. And although his team, Real Madrid won, that does not mean what he said was correct.

“First of all, if you’re looking at apology, I think he (Wike) needs to apologize to the party first, because if this thing had happened in his state where a member of the party or a stakeholder first goes to air without first confirming from him, he would term that as insubordination, disobedience or whatever.”

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