There is disquiet in the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, over the somewhat strange romance between the Governor of Rivers State Nyesom Wike and the party’s hierarchy, especially the President-elect, Bola Tinubu.
The development is causing upset among the APC members ahead of the inauguration of Tinubu as President and his formation of cabinet within six months.
Against his own political party, the Peoples Democratic Party, the Governor is believed to have worked for the national ruling party during the 2023 presidential election.
And this has intensified the rumours that it is just a matter of time before the governor joins the ruling party.
Wike was once the most loyal and influential leader in the PDP prior to the May 2022 presidential primary election of the party.
Nigerians will not forget in a haste how the Governor had during voting at the convention held at the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja, vowed to commit to the party.
He said then: “I vow today that anybody who emerges here, I will support the person to the fullest because I am a committed party person. Since 1998, I have been at this party and I am not going anywhere.”
However, the Governor entered into a long battle with the national body of the PDP and the elected presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar immediately after the primary, dragging four other governors along with him to form what was later known as the G5.
He has taken it further after the polls, with his recent invitation of Tinubu to commission projects in the oil-rich State.
However, a former governor of the State, Chibuike Amaechi, who came second during the party’s presidential election in June 2022, has been conspicuously absent in as many occasions that Tinubu has visited Rivers State, either as a presidential candidate or as the President-elect.
Wike was one of the politicians who wondered what good works President Buhari had done that presidential aspirants such as Bola Tinubu would base their campaigns on.
Wike had said that Nigerians were under the yoke of APC maladministration with an intractable insecurity situation that has crippled the economy and increased hunger.
He said then: “It is most unfortunate when I hear people declaring [intention to be president] under APC and saying they want to continue the good job of Mr President – the good job of people dying every day, the good job of naira falling every day.
“I feel so ashamed that we have got to the level of sycophancy where people will come and say I want to continue the good job of Buhari. What is the good job of Buhari – hunger, poverty, insecurity, economy falling?
“I can’t believe that somebody will come out in today’s Nigeria and say I want to continue where Mr. Buhari has stopped. May God never allow that evil to continue.”
But all that posture changed during the presidential election.
Apart from being accused of rigging the presidential election in favour of the APC candidate, Wike has in words and actions shown that he was solidly behind Tinubu, before, during and after the elections.
Members of the APC in the State see Wike’s actions as a scheme to be appointed minister upon the end of his tenure on May 29.
Tinubu, during his recent visit to Rivers State, hailed the governor for working for his emergence, especially by weakening the PDP.
Prior to the PDP’s primary election, the governor, who claimed to be working for Southern presidency blocked the PDP from zoning the presidency because he realised that the South East would get the cut if the ticket was micro-zoned.
Speaking to DAILY POST on these developments, a former Spokesman for the defunct new Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and chieftain of the APC in the South South, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze said, “Gov. Wike though a friend is a very confused and drowning fellow looking for whatever he can hold to survive but the future will surely determine his fate.
“Anybody worrying himself or herself about Wike and his type of politics probably has no serious task to do, so I wouldn’t like to waste my precious time to talk about a drowning man.
“Nigerians and the entire world are fully aware of the stand of Wike about both Buhari, Tinubu and APC, so if they feel after all that Amaechi sacrificed to build APC that Wike is their new Saviour, I wish them the best of luck. God will surely judge all our actions no matter the odds.”
On the fate of Amaechi if Wike decides to decamp to APC, Eze said, “Both I and Amaechi and other members of his political family have passed the level of attaching our fate to that of any human being. It will be an insult to us and our God for Wike and his drowning collaborators to determine our political fate. They don’t have such powers.
“For your information, Wike at the moment is not a member of any political party. They are aware that they are politically orphans though he is shameless and if he feels like joining APC, I wish him the best of luck.
“I must confess that I am enjoying the trends of events as it is helping us to know how characterless some of our so-called leaders are but let us not despair as God is working out something great for this country.”
Speaking on Wike’s denial of working for Tinubu and insisting all he wanted was Southern presidency, the party chieftain added, “You are forcing me to give Wike the attention that he doesn’t deserve.
“Wike is the most selfish Nigerian politician you can think of in this dispensation. He has not the interest of anybody or region at heart.
“Everything is all about himself. He frustrated Obi out of PDP with hope of becoming the landlord of PDP but Atiku proved him wrong and reduced him to the wailing fellow he has become.
“Tinubu knew that Wike never worked for him; he will be highly disappointed as Tinubu and his camp are already plotting on how to do away with his nuisance scheme.”
On the question on why Amaechi has been silent in the face of what many people would see as being sidelined by his political party, Eze said, “What exactly do you want Amaechi to say about what is happening with Tinubu, APC and Wike?
“I have advised myself to keep quiet and watch this romance all aimed at undermining Amaechi. At the appropriate time, I will expose to Nigerians when this evil plot was hatched and how it will be concluded.
“From the little I know about Amaechi and his type of politics, he has never had any plan of his own. God is the one that plans for him, so when God wants him to act, he will act accordingly and Nigeria and Nigerians will know that you can’t, no matter the odds, undermine God’s anointed one. In vain they gather as their gathering can never be sanctioned by God.
“I appeal to us all to exercise patience as we will soon address some of the issues agitating the minds of Nigerians and the future of Amaechi and his political family.”