~ Wike To Back Tinubu In 2023 Presidential Election ~
Following his defeat at the People Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential primaries, Rivers state Governor Nyesom Wike has resolved to throw his weight behind the Presidential ambition of former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, POLITICS NIGERIA reports.
Wike, who emerged second in the race to clinching the party’s ticket, lost to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who polled 371 votes against the River Governor’s 237 on Saturday.
Also, former senate president Bukola Saraki came third after he garnered votes of 70 delegates while Governor Udom trailed behind him with 38 votes.
Pundits believe that Wike’s loss at the poll was as a result of the last-minute alliance between Aminu Tambuwal, Sokoto State Governor and Abubakar. The former declared support for the latter at the 11th hour.
But Wike, according to multiple sources familiar with internal workings, will not be supporting PDP as expected. Rather, he will support Tinubu, a Presidential hopeful, who stands a chance to clinch the ticket under the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Sources attributed this to the outcome of the Saturday election, noting that the Rivers state Governor is at war with fellow south-south governors, whom he believes contributed to his defeat.
“As far as I’m concerned, there is nothing to worry about. I contested that election based on the agreement with all the Southern Governors and the leaders of the South that the presidency should go to the South.
“We have done our own part. We never betrayed anybody because it is not in our blood to betray. But it is a shame to those people, some governors from the South who are the people they used to sabotage our victory. But however, we have shown them that we are not like them,” the Rivers Governor had said on Monday.
Another source explained that prior to Saturday, there is an unwritten agreement between Tinubu and Wike, which states that the latter will support the former should he lose in the primaries.
According to this source, Wike, like some Governors who have a clandestine agreement with the APC leaders, has promised to deliver South South, which is his stronghold, to Tinubu.
Also, Tinubu’s agreement with Wike is to enable him ’cause problems’ for Rotimi Amaechi, one of his contenders in the APC Presidential primaries. This is evidenced by Wike’s subliminal support for Senator Magnus Abe, who is an opponent to Amaechi and currently battling him for the structure of the APC in Rivers state.
It should be noted that Amaechi, who is currently the minister of Transportation, is an arch rival of Wike.
Some bigwigs in the Peoples Democratic Party have already got a hold of Wike’s move and have commenced resolution talks. Part of this was the visit of Abubakar at Wike’s residence on Monday.
The Ikwerre born Politician has in the past expressed praise for the Lagos Political Leader adding that he would never “say or do anything to malign the hard-earned reputation of the elder statesman.”