Three weeks after promising to adopt a candidate for his supporters to vote for, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has vowed to unveil his preferred presidential candidate for the 2023 election in January.
“So, all of you who have been in suspense, who have been saying all kinds of things, abusing me, wait, January is here,” Mr Wike stated this on Thursday while commissioning a flyover in Port Harcourt, Channels Television reported.
Mr Wike said he will not only tell his people who to vote for but will campaign for his choice of presidential candidate throughout the country. “Nothing will happen,” he added.
Governor Wike, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), fell out with the party leadership after the presidential primary which he lost to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
The governor also fell out with Atiku, the party presidential candidate for reneging on the alleged promise to ensure the exit of the National Chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu, so that a southerner can lead the party for the sake of a “regional balance”.
Atiku and Mr Ayu are both northerners.
Mr Wike leads the G5, a group of PDP governors who are also feeling aggrieved with Atiku and the PDP leadership.
Governor Samuel Ortom (Benue), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), and Seyi Makinde (Oyo) are members of the G5.
Tinubu or Peter Obi?
The G5 had in November, in Abia State, said they would support a southern presidential candidate for the 2023 election, a decision they said was in line with the agreement reached in the southern governors’ forum that Nigeria’s presidency should come to the south in 2023.
Although the quintet did not endorse any of the two major contenders from the south – Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), their stance has complicated challenges faced by Atiku who has been struggling to resolve the PDP crisis.
After the declaration, the G5 is now left with either Mr Obi, a former Anambra State governor or Mr Tinubu, a former Lagos governor to choose from.
Mr Obi has been a regular guest of the Rivers governor in Port Harcourt. Mr Wike recently promised to provide logistics support for the LP candidate whenever he is in Rivers for campaign.
Mr Tinubu, on the other hand, has only visited Mr Wike through proxy.
The South-west APC governors visited the Rivers governor recently, apparently, to solicit support for Mr Tinubu.
David Umahi, the Ebonyi State governor has also visited Mr Wike where he told the Rivers governor that Mr Tinubu needed Rivers votes, not logistics support.
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