Nyesom Wike, the immediate past governor of Rivers State, expressed that all members of the G5, a group of five former and current governors, supported Godswill Akpabio and Tajudeen Abbas as the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives. The G5 governors, including Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, as well as former governors Samuel Ortom, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, and Okezie Ikpeazu, rejected Atiku Abubakar as the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate due to the party’s zoning arrangement in the 2023 election. Their association with President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress has led to speculation about possible defections.
During a media briefing in Port Harcourt, Wike highlighted that the election of Akpabio as Senate President, representing the South-South region, demonstrates Nigerians’ interest in national unity. He also stated that President Bola Tinubu’s involvement in the result shows his commitment to preventing polarization in the country. Wike described Akpabio as qualified and experienced, emphasizing that the Senate President would not lead an assembly that merely acts as a “rubber stamp.”
“I don’t believe that Akpabio will be rubber stamped. I also supported him because he equally supported me when I was running for governorship,” Wike said.
“Akpabio is a competent, qualified and educated person. He is an orator who can represent this country anywhere. What other qualifications do you want?
“Rivers state and the G5 Governors all supported Akpabio because we couldn’t stop our support midway.”
He emphasized that his concern was not limited to any political party but extended to the entire nation. Therefore, he believes that his party, the PDP, has no grounds to question his position.
Wike offered advice to Akpabio and Abbas, urging them not to disappoint the Nigerian people by merely being passive followers without independent judgment. However, he also stressed that it was important for them to maintain a constructive relationship with the President.
He clarified that maintaining a harmonious relationship with the President should not be equated with blindly following his directives without critical assessment.