The governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike has said if the minister of transport and former governor of Rivers State should be the nominated flag bearer of the ruling All Progressive Party, APC he won’t support his ambition.
However, should he be the flag bearer of the People’s democratic Party, PDP, he would as a loyal party man. He said supporting Amaechi as candidate would amount to anti-party.
The governor spoke on Thursday during an Arise TV News Night interview where he was featured as a guest.
Wike succeeded Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi after Amaechi concluded his tenure as governor and had decamped to the then opposition APC following unresolved issues with the then first lady of Nigeria, Patience Jonathan who is also from Rivers State.
Since then both had become bitter political enemies fighting for the soul of the state. Wike and Amaechi are brothers from the Ikwerre ethnic nationality and Wike did the ground work in bringing Amaechi to power after he was disqualified from contesting the Rivers gubernatorial election by then president Obasanjo who described his nomination by Rivers delegates as developing ‘K-leg’.
His crisis and troubles with president Olusegun Obasanjo resulted in his exile from Nigeria. And his cousin Celestine Omehia was elected governor under same party but a Supreme Court famous ruling removed Omehia after six months in office and handed power to Amaechi who didn’t contest the election. All were said to be made possible by Nyesom Wike.
Upon assuming office Amaechi appointed Wike who was a former Local Government chairman as his chief of staff. He ran into trouble waters with the EFCC but all that disappeared when he joined the Patience Jonathan camp.
His trouble with Amaechi began when Amaechi who was concluding his second and final term in office indicated he would be contesting the senatorial election of his constituency. That same spot that had been reserved for Wike who had long indicated his intention.
The governor, Rotimi Amaechi then nominated Wike to fill a vacant ministerial spot in president Goodluck Ebele’s cabinet and he was appointed a junior minister for education. Although he accepted the appointment, he was angry that the governor sent him to Abuja so he would be far from touch with his constituents and the governor would have an upper hand in the senatorial race.
Wike would however change strategy and use his federal advantage and crisis between Amaechi and mama peace to go for a a bigger fish – the governorship. Amaechi decamped and supported the presidential ambition of now president Buhari while president Jonathan lost his bid for a re-election.
On Edo PDP Crisis
On the crisis that resulted in the challenge of screening of governor Godwin Obaseki was as a result of party members in Edo not being carried along.
According to the governor, these party members had been in the party all these years and the governor coming though an advantage to the party but they had to be consulted, hear their grievances and resolve the issue.
He said carrying members along is not to compensate them financial but likened it to a man with so many wives and he takes a new bride while ignoring the previous wives who had been in the marriage. That he said, would bring crisis.
On 2023 Presidential Ambition
Governor Nyesom Wike while answering a question if he would be contesting the 2023 presidential election said he has no such plans as that would be a distraction to his job in fulfilling his responsibility to the people of Rivers State.
He wonders why people would always link his speaking out on issues to an ambition. Wike said that was how he was said to be interested in being vice president when he supported governor Aminu Tambunal against Atiku. He said he couldn’t have risked his second term ambition for that which he was not sure would be a success.
Would he Support Atiku’s 2023 Ambition
He said it is within the right of the former vice president to contest the 2023 presidential election. He said Atiku’s son’s announcement was an exercise of his fundamental human right.
Wike said although the party has zoned the presidency to the north, he would be engaging the party on that when the time comes. He said PDP does not have problem with who becomes their flag bearer being in the opposition rather it is the ruling APC that does because of the fight on who succeeds the president.
He however said PDP has a way of always resolving their crisis and cited Edo as an example that surprised many people.