2023: Why Wike Was Forced To Back Atiku After Tinubu Meeting

Fresh facts have emerged about Bola Tinubu’s meeting with Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State in London, United Kingdom (UK) last week.

POLITICS NIGERIA learned that Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) showed “zero commitment”, as it was alleged that he declined to commit to all of Wike’s conditions before they can work together during the 2023 presidential election.

All has not been well with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) following the presidential primary election which produced former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar as the flag-bearer of the party ahead of the 2023 general elections in Nigeria, and the subsequent emergence of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State as Atiku’s running mate.

Wike and his top political associates – Governors Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Samuel Ortom (Benue), and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) – had met in London with Tinubu last Monday to consider the possibility of working together.

However, after Wike tabled his demands, the former Lagos State governor reportedly failed to accede to Wike’s terms.

According to sources that were present at the meeting, Tinubu believed Wike’s demands were generally not feasible.

As an example, Wike demanded that the APC candidate “ensures if he wins the presidential election, which comes first, he will ensure he does not influence the outcome of the governorship and House of Assembly polls in Rivers, Benue, Oyo and Abia states, so that candidates in his camp and those of the other governors could win maintain control of the states”.

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The sources said of Wike: “He also wanted assurances that their men should be allowed to win Senate and House of Representatives seats, including the governors contesting senatorial elections. There was no headway on this demand either, since the presidential and National Assembly elections would take place same day.

“Tinubu, however, didn’t make any commitment and that was a red flag for Wike.”

In the end, no agreement was reached between the PDP chieftain and the former APC National Leader, thus when Atiku travelled to London a few days later to settle the grudges Wike had with him, the Rivers State governor had no hesitation listening to his party’s presidential candidate and standing with him.

 

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