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Why Gov. WIKE Can't Forgive ATIKU


As a mythical bird, Phoenix, the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has risen from the ashes of a bitter political defeat that left him sprawling on the floor to become a beautiful bride that top political stakeholders, including presidential candidates, are now visiting, wooing for support to realise their political ambition.

The People’s Democratic Party’s intra-party election to pick its presidential candidate had given Wike a bloody nose. He was beaten to sthe econd position by Atiku Abubakar, who emerged as the choice candidate of the party.

Alienation of Wike from political relevance was, however, completed when Atiku Abubakar, preferred the Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, as the Vice Presidential candidate of the PDP. The rejection of Wike came after a 16-member committee led by Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom that was set up by the party to choose a presidential running mate voted Wike. 12 members of the committee chose Wike. They were the majority. The PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, however, rejected the committee’s verdict.

The radical positive political change for Wike came a few days after those who believed that the Rivers State Governor was finished politically when he suddenly bounced back with a telling effect on the political terrain. It was remembered that he was the pillar that sustained PDP after the party lost the 2019 presidential election. His successful efforts that enabled PDP to win the governorship election in Bayelsa and Edo States earned him the tag of a great mobiliser.

Besides, Wike’s huge war chest that had empowered him to spread his influence across the six geo-political zones of the country also came to the fore.

It was, therefore, not a surprise that the Labour Party Presidential candidate, Peter Obi came to Port-Harcourt on June 22, 2022, to woo Wike for support in his quest to win the 2023 presidential election.

Two days after, on June 24, 2022, the Governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed, came calling on Wike at his private home in Rivers State. Observers suspected that the governor visited Wike to plead the case of Atiku Abubakar. The same day, many Senators came to consult Wike and seek his support for Atiku Abubakar. That was how Wike’s private home became a Mecca for politicians and office-seekers.

Again, the grapevine had it on record that the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu, has also consulted Wike. The overture was not unconnected with having Wike’s support to enable him realise his presidential ambition, come 2023.

The consultation between Tinubu and Wike, at the weekend, continued in Europe. Tinubu was reported to have gone to France to hold a meeting crucial to his ambition. It was, therefore, not a surprise that speculation was rife that meeting with Wike outside Nigeria’s shores was one of those meetings.


- Emeka Amaefula

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