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Will Gov. WIKE Agree To Team Up With TINUBU?

That is the big question that many political analysts are asking. This is because since the PDP presidential flagbearer Alhaji Atiku Abubakar picked Gov. Okowa as his running mate, tongues have been wagging that Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike who was earlier tipped to run with Atiku has been very angry. And that he feels used and dumped by Atiku, a man who abandoned the PDP when he lost in 2019 and relocated to Dubai.

A vast majority of PDP members acknowledge the fact that but for Wike who took up the mantle of leadership of the party when Atiku lost the presidential elections, there would have been no PDP today. They say it was Wike who picked the bits and pieces of what was left of PDP and built it into a formidable party once again before Atiku returned to take it over from him.

Since Atiku picked Okowa, Wike has been turned into a beautiful bride, as many political big wigs have been paying Wike visits to convince him to work with them.

Last week, he met with Peter Obi and we hear he has had several meetings with Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

Because of his huge political machinery, Atiku and the leaders of PDP are afraid of losing. Wike to another party so he has set up a committee to further work on Wike.

The presidential candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP, Rabiu Kwankwaso, is stepping up his bid to court the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Kwankwaso, who defected from the PDP a few months before the PDP’s presidential primary in May, emerged as the sole presidential candidate of NNPP.

He has been locked in a prolonged negotiation with Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, with the sticky point being who steps down for the other to be the presidential flag bearer.

While Kwankwaso had publicly stated he would like Obi to join the NNPP and be his running mate, Obi had neither rejected the idea nor accepted it.

But his supporters have risen against that idea.

The inability of the Kwankwaso/Obi alliance has prompted Kwankwaso’s courting of Wike.

Wike who has remained quiet about the activities of the PDP since he was defeated at the party’s presidential primary, has been seething that he was overlooked for the running mate position.

While he was given the nod by 12 out of the 15 screening committee members the party set up for the purpose of screening the running mate, the party’s presidential flagbearer, Atiku Abubakar, eventually settled for Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa.

The meeting held last Friday came after the visit of Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi of the All Progressives Congress, to Wike, followed by Obi’s visit but details of the visits which were held behind-closed-doors were not disclosed.

The meeting between Wike and Kwankwaso, which was held in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, was confirmed by both camps.

Although no actual details were provided by any of the sides, there are reports that the meeting was most likely to lure Wike to be his running mate for the 2023 presidential election.

The politicians have been in close contact despite their political affiliations. Kwankwaso’s political allies are reckoned to be in control of the PDP in Kano despite his defection.

Those allies and supporters were reported to have voted for Wike in the PDP’s presidential primary.

Although Wike has vowed not to defect from the PDP, the party he has been funding heavily since 2015, it is believed he is considering a new political association as he serves out his second term as governor.

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, last Friday, received in audience the presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and former Governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, at his private residence in Port-Harcourt.

Governor Wike was clad in white attire with a red cap to match, which is the symbolic colour of the Kwankwasiya Movement led by his guest, Kwankwaso.

Kwankwaso, who arrived at the Port Harcourt International Airport on Friday evening, was received by the NNPP leadership in the state.

He met Wike in the company of former Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose, and a former Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke.

Others were PDP leaders in the state, Chief Ferdinard Alabraba and Senator Olaka Worgu, among others.

However, both men did not speak to journalists at the end of their meeting, which came to a close at about 8:40 pm.

Ezenwo Nyesom Wike (CON) is the 6th Governor of Rivers State. He is an Ikwerre from Rumuepirikom in Obio-Akpor, Rivers State. He is a member of the People’s Democratic Party and was educated at Rivers State University of Science and Technology.

Wike was elected as a two-term Executive Chairman of Obio Akpor Local Government Area from 1999 to 2007. He was appointed Minister of State for Education on 14th July 2011. Wike was later appointed the Acting Minister of Education after Mrs Ruqqayatu was sacked but resigned before finishing his term to campaign for Governor of Rivers State. He was replaced by Viola Onwuliri. In 2014, he won the Rivers State People’s Democratic Party primary and chose former Secretary to the State Government, Ipalibo Banigo as his running mate.

Wike defeated Dakuku Peterside of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Tonye Princewill of the Labour Party in the April 11 gubernatorial elections to emerge as governor.

Wike attended Government Secondary School, Eneka in Obiakpor, Rivers State where he sat for his O’level exams before proceeding to the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUT). He obtained a Bachelor of Laws degree from RSUT before proceeding to Law School in 1997. Wike holds a Master of Arts degree in Political and Administrative Studies from RSUT.

Wike began his political career as the Executive Chairman of Obio Akpor Local Government Area in Rivers in 1999, a position he held until 2007, after being re-elected in 2003. In 2007, he was appointed as the chief of staff to the governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi. In July 2011, he was appointed as the Minister of State for Education by President Goodluck Jonathan and was promoted to Federal Minister of Education in September 2013. He stepped down as Federal Minister to contest the 2015 gubernatorial elections in his home state, Rivers State.

The Rivers State governorship election tribunal nullified the election of Wike on October 24, 2015. The election tribunal ordered the governorship election rerun in Rivers State within 90 days immediately after the day of judgment. Wike said he would appeal the ruling of the tribunal.

INEC declared Nyesom Wike winner of Rivers State governorship polls on Wednesday, 3rd April 2019, after suspending the process for some days. Wike took his oath of office on Wednesday, May 29th, 2019 at Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Port Harcourt as he commenced his second term. In his address, he promised to put Rivers State first.

Presidential candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi, has also, held a closed-door meeting with Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, at Government House, Port Harcourt.

It was gathered that the meeting was aimed at strategising for the 2023 elections.

Although the agenda for the meeting was not made public as journalists were not allowed to cover it and neither Obi nor Wike briefed the media after the meeting, it was speculated that Obi, who is already gaining support from Nigerian youths, deemed it necessary to woo Wike ahead of the election.

It was also gathered that following the loss Wike suffered in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential primary and failure to emerge as running mate to Atiku Abubakar, the party’s 2023 standard-bearer, he may be plotting to dump PDP.

Some aggrieved members of PDP had lamented that despite the advisory committee set up by the party favouring Wike for the Vice-Presidential slot, Atiku opted for the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, whom he felt was level-headed and had the right temperament to push up his ticket.

Following the rejection of Wike, some party chiefs in the South-South had dumped PDP amid a crisis in the party.

But the PDP has set up a committee to pacify and woo Wike and other aggrieved members in Rivers State.

The initiative, it was learned, would unite the party and garner support for Atiku’s presidency, though Wike had earlier vowed he would not leave the party, whether he wins or not.

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