Some governors elected on the All Progressives Congress platform are now meeting with Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike ahead of the 2023 elections.
Kayode Fayemi, Rotimi Akeredolu, and Babajide Sanwo-Olu govern Ekiti, Ondo, and Lagos, respectively.
Others in their entourage include Ekiti State Governor-elect Biodun Oyebanji, former Ekiti State governor, and Peoples Democratic Party leader Ayodele Fayose.
Wike, who lost the PDP presidential nomination to Nigeria’s former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, is said to be meeting with APC leaders and others at his country residence in the Port Harcourt region of the state.
The reason for the APC governors’ visit and subsequent meeting with their host is unclear at the time of this publication.
Before the APC governors’ visit, there were claims that the APC presidential candidate Bola Tinubu and Wike met in France. Still, these stories were disputed by former Lagos State governor’s media, Tunde Rahman, who called it “false news.”
However, it seems that the APC governors may attempt to capitalize on Wike’s recent spat with PDP leadership after the major opposition party’s presidential primary to pull the Rivers governor to their side ahead of the 2023 presidential race.
According to NigerianWatch, as the issue over Atiku’s nomination of Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as running mate deepened, Senator Walid Jibrin, Chairman of the PDP’s Board of Trustees, announced the party had formed a nine-member team to lobby Wike.
Following his triumph at the PDP convention, when he defeated Wike and other candidates for the presidential ticket, Atiku picked Okowa as his running mate, notwithstanding the suggestion of a 17-man party committee.
The NigerianWatch also reported on July 1, 2022, that the turmoil shaking the PDP ahead of the 2023 general election had deepened, with Wike supporters threatening to abandon the party if their main flaws were not addressed.
However, the PDP’s standard-bearer assuaged concerns about the party’s turmoil by promising reconciliation.
The schism in the major opposition party came to light when Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom accused Atiku of failing to honor democratic choice in his running mate decision.
He believes Wike and those who supported him for the PDP vice-presidential ticket need a clear explanation from the party’s presidential candidate.
Ortom, speaking on Arise TV on June 29, 2022, said he was surprised that Atiku could reject the suggestion of 14 of the 17 members of the committee that selected Wike as his running partner.
This comes after he said that he had turned too fast and prayed to seek God’s guidance after the selection of Okowa as Atiku’s running partner over Wike.
“I was a member of the 17-man group appointed by the candidate, and several of us thought Wike should be the vice-president.” We spoke about it at our meeting, and we agreed that it didn’t matter if he backed the presidential candidate; all we needed was unity and a plan to make things work.
“Unfortunately, the candidate chose Okowa.” Some of us have turned to prayer for help. I was puzzled since I assumed Wike would have become the VP. He was Atiku’s deputy, and Wike was charismatic. Every one of us has flaws.”
“Wike may be anything, but when it comes to mobilization, impact, value addition, and outreach, Wike is a tool.” Wike is a candidate for the party. Some of us believed in him, but it was someone else. “The party is paramount, but for some of us, including myself, I have turned to prayer,” Ortom remarked.
According to the NigerianWatch, Atiku emphasized after unveiling Okowa as his running mate that he chose the Delta governor because he had the traits of a President, adding that he “is a President-in-waiting.”
ooo”In making this choice, I sought feedback and wisdom from numerous stakeholders in our party, including our governors, the national working committee, the board of trustees, and other leaders,” he stated.
“During these conversations, I made it obvious that my running partner, as a president-in-waiting, would have the ability to replace me at any time.”
“In other words, the individual must possess the traits required of a President.” The person must understand the deep rot that our country has been thrown into by the rudderless APC (All Progressives Congress) government; the great suffering that most of our people are going through and the urgency of relieving that suffering; and the critical importance of economic growth and development in providing our young people with jobs, hope, and a path to wealth.”