As the contest for Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s preferred candidate for a Ministerial appointment in Rivers state intensifies, key members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state have accused the former governor Nyesom Wike of attempting to benefit from a situation where he did not contribute during the February 25 presidential election.
Furthermore, they claim that Wike’s desire for a Ministerial appointment is a stepping stone for his presidential bid in 2027.
Recently, prominent APC stakeholders, led by Chief Tony Okocha, a former Chief of Staff to the Rivers State Government and a strong supporter of the party, urged Tinubu to seriously consider Nyesom Wike, the former governor of Rivers State, for a Ministerial appointment due to his role in securing Tinubu’s victory in the state during the presidential election.
In response, the APC stakeholders, represented by Magnus Abe, who led the Tinubu/Shettima Independent Campaign Council (ICC) and spoke on behalf of Chief Kadilo Kabari, an APC leader, held a press briefing in Abuja on Wednesday. They strongly criticized the calls from certain quarters urging Tinubu to consider Wike for a Ministerial appointment.
In particular, they emphasized that Abe made significant contributions before and during the presidential election, which greatly influenced Tinubu’s victory in the state when compared to Wike’s contributions.
He said: “Politics is a game of numbers. As a matter of fact, Wike’s support can be bequeathed to seeking a safe haven, having lost in every political equation. He is finding the Tinubu presidency as a safe haven and then the battle of offices as a war chest for the next election because we know him.
“I am not against Wike joining the APC. As a matter of fact, we have so many ex-governors that are in the APC, but none of them said they will take the party’s structure. If it were the serving governor that is joining, you will understand. At this point, I am not speaking from a partisan perspective. I am speaking as an ardent supporter of Tinubu. In the governorship, I stood with Magnus no apologies.
“This last election availed Nigerians a lot of opportunities for variety. So, I condemn in totality the attempt to stand truth on its head by claiming no other person did anything and also bequeathing all the proceeds of victory to one person who showed ethnocentric bias even in his distribution of offices in Rivers state.”
Also, Kabari described Wike’s contribution, as highlighted by Tony Okocha, as false, alleging that Wike’s camp is out to “reap where they didn’t show.”
“Okocha and his co-travelers should bury their heads in shame because the State of Rivers and the elections can be likened to the biblical husband and partakers of the first fruit. We had people who cleared the bush; we had people who tilled the soil; we had people who planted the seeds; we had people who watered it. We had people who watched it grow. At the point of its growth, everybody finds his branch in different political aspirations.
“That is where Magnus of SDP, different supporters because Tinubu’s supporters were multi-partisan, those contributions are false. Now, they should bury their heads in shame that in plucking the fruits, they want to pluck the ripe and unripe and do not want those who wield, those who planted, those who watered to partake.”
He consequently warned against engaging in a slanderous campaign targeting Abe and other political figures, emphasizing that endeavors should be evaluated based on personal integrity, competence, qualifications, and impartiality.