• Sun. Jun 16th, 2024

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In what could very well pass as an endorsement, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has said that Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is a man that is “desperately” needed in Nigeria.

Mr Wike described Mr Tinubu as a man with “character and courage”.

He stated this on Wednesday at Government House, Port Harcourt, while receiving Mr Tinubu, who visited him shortly after the APC presidential rally in the state.

Kelvin Ebiri, the spokesperson to the governor, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday.

“I wish you good luck,” the governor was quoted as saying to Mr Tinubu. “I support the principle of fairness, equity and justice and that is what G5 stands (for). G5 does not stand for anybody.”

In Mr Tinubu’s delegation to the governor were his running mate, Kashim Shettima; the APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, and the governors of Kebbi, Abubakar Bagudu, Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and Ebonyi, David Umahi.

Others were the former governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, and the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva.

Despite his seeming endorsement of Mr Tinubu, Governor Wike advised the APC leadership not to invest its resources in the APC candidates in the state, warning that they would not win a single position in the general elections.

 

This development is coming a few days after the Rivers chapter of the APC accused Mr Wike of making moves to join the party through the backdoor.

The APC in the state accused Mr Wike of discreetly asking his political appointees to canvass votes across the state for the APC presidential candidate.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers has made a similar allegation.

Back story
Mr Wike, a member of the PDP, was among the 12 presidential aspirants of the party who were defeated by the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar at the party’s presidential primary election in May last year.

Since then Mr Wike has led four other PDP governors in an internal rebellion against Mr Atiku and the PDP national leadership.

The G5, which Mr Wike and the other governors formed, has been demanding the resignation of the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, to pave the way for a southerner to lead the PDP in order to achieve a “regional balance”.

Besides Mr Wike vowing that Mr Atiku would not win the 25 February presidential election in Rivers, the supporters of the PDP presidential candidate have been violently attacked in the state, forcing the party to cancel its presidential campaign rally in the state.

Mr Wike’s seeming endorsement of Mr Tinubu is considered an anti-climax after the Rivers governor kept Nigerians guessing who he was likely going to support in the forthcoming presidential election.

The Commissioner for Information in the state, Chris Finebone, told PREMIUM TIMES last week that he could neither confirm nor refute the claim that Governor Wike had directed political appointees in the state to canvass votes for Mr Tinubu.

“The high-wire politics of Governor Wike is beyond the infantile understanding of little chaps in Rivers APC and their collaborators. Hence, the different wild conjectures. The governor holds (all) the aces and is always ahead of them,” he said.

“Governor Wike and all of us remain solid members of PDP. Losing sleep over who we will vote for president shouldn’t be their headache but if they had chosen to do so, so be it,” he added.

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