Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and the All Progressives Congress (APC) opened the battle for 2023 on Wednesday.
The governor, a leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by his position, told the APC to prepare its handover notes for the opposition party ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The governor claimed that Nigerians were earnestly waiting for the PDP to take over power to ensure good governance.
But the APC asked the PDP to stop labouring under the illusion that it stood a chance in 2023.
The ruling party said it was the preferred choice for Nigerians and that the PDP remained rejected.
Wike spoke at the inauguration of the 11.53km Agbonchai-Afam road, connecting Eleme and Oyigbo local government areas.
It was performed by the former Senate Majority Leader, Mohammed Ali Ndume, who is of the APC.
The governor, in a statement by his Special Assistant, Media, Kelvin Ebiri, said PDP had continued to satisfy the increased yearnings of Nigerians for good governance, improved economy and developmental projects in its various states.
He said: “Eleme people, I want to sincerely thank you for the support that you’ve given to me and the PDP. Do not relent. Continue because the hope of this country depends on PDP.”
He said the PDP was working in Rivers and its controlled states, insisting that the party would kick out the APC at the centre.
He urged Senator Ndume and the APC to respect the wishes of Nigerians, who were determined to return the PDP to power in 2023.
He said: “To our special Guest of Honour (Ndume), he should not be angry because we are taking over from them.
“When they came, we didn’t fight, they took over. Now that Nigerians have decided to change them, let them also hand over to us as quickly as possible without any fight.”
The governor expressed happiness for fulfilling the promise of reconstructing the Eleme-Afam road when he campaigned in the area, saying the completed road would serve as an alternative route to neighbouring states.
Wike also said his administration rebuilt the Government Secondary School in Onne Town with the one in Eteo at finishing level.
Ndume said he felt truly humbled to perform the task and be part of Wike’s achievements.
He described Wike as a true nationalist and an important voice in national affairs across parties, adding that the governor was famous for speaking truth to power.
He said: “Governor Wike is my very good friend, a trusted leader, a very honest person. One thing we have in common is that, as a leader, you must stand out and speak the truth even if you’re alone and Wike is known for that.
“There is new hope for the state and he is Wike. Now, Rivers is not only becoming a Garden City again but it is becoming a Golden City. May God continue to give you (Wike) the strength.