The major stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers state have urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to seriously consider appointing Nyesom Wike, the former governor of Rivers State, in his selection of ministers. The stakeholders, organized under the Amalgamated Bola Tinubu Campaign Council Rivers State and led by Chief Tony Okocha, former Chief of Staff to the Rivers State Government and a prominent member of the APC, stated that this recommendation is based on the significant contributions made by Wike in ensuring Tinubu’s successful victory in the state during the presidential election held on February 25.
Furthermore, during a press briefing in Abuja on Tuesday, Okocha dismissed the recent actions of Magnus Abe, the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), as a mere political ploy to gain attention within Tinubu’s political sphere. Okocha emphasized that Abe’s sudden prominence comes after he had already departed from the APC when his support was most crucial.
Acknowledging Governor Nyesom Wike’s instrumental role in securing the APC’s triumph in the state, Okocha also highlighted how Wike played a vital role in maintaining party unity when other influential stakeholders had turned their backs on the APC.
He said: “When Ameachi had left, Magnus had left what remained was the little I could control with an amalgamation of support groups. Since 1999, PDP has been in control of Rivers State back to back. Even in 2015, when I was Chief of staff, Ameachi was governor and during that Presidential election, APC scored about 69,000 votes, PDP scored about 2 million votes and we were in charge and he doubled as the DG of Buhari in 2015, in 2019 Wike had become governor, it became even worse.
“In 2015, APC scored 7 percent, in 2019 we scored 5 percent. Then, in 2023 APC is now winning. What was the magic? Wike’s PDP scored 32/32 in the state House of Assembly in Rivers state, Wike’s PDP scored 12/13 of House of Reps seats, Wike’s PDP scored 3/3 of the senatorial seats, Wike’s PDP won the governorship and then Wike’s PDP did not win Presidential election in Rivers state. What happened?
“Is it not the reason that all of us know that the G-5 governors said until things are made right, until power shifts to the south and that until Ayu resigns that they will not work for Atiku. Now, the spin doctor who made sure everything worked out for Tinubu, was Wike.
“We have 6,868 polling units in Rivers state across 319 wards and across 23 LGs and you and I know that every politician has his own polling unit agents that are paid on a stipend or the other. Who paid for the 6,868 agents in Rivers for APC?
“The activities of the G-5 is instrumental to the success of Tinubu in Nigeria politics today. Look at the ratio, APC won 12 states, and PDP won 10 states. Assuming PDP people worked together, they would have taken more states. I am telling you that in our own case, I am saying it categorically, I would have been the one person to say no don’t give it to him because I had the house. He didn’t come to see an empty house. I would have decided to appropriate everything to myself and behave like a crab.
“If you have somebody that is more than you, why don’t you invite the person. If he helped us to win in 2023, are we now going to tell him to come to us in 2027 to help us win? Why don’t we bring him in because he has value to add. No politician in Rivers state today can surmount Wike. No one in Rivers State can challenge Wike. He is the best.
“We are saying that whatever is due us as Rivers state should be handed over to Wike because he knows who worked for Tinubu in Rivers. I would have claimed it all because I was the last man standing when everybody took off but we are saying, look, this man contributed more.
“Magnus’ media stunts are mere grandstanding and only for benefits. My own satisfaction is that if you marshal out Tinubu’s soldiers today, even people that hate me the most will say I was at the epicenter of Tinubu’s victory in Rivers state, to me, it is enough food if there are other benefits that will come, it will be secondary but if anybody is coming out with the primary aim of getting an appointment, I will not accept.
“You’re now eulogizing Tinubu, you didn’t know that Tinubu was the best person when you left him for another party. Now, you defeated him in your unit and ward but now that the man has won, you want to eulogize, you want to grandstand, you want to say all manner of good things just for political appointment, it will not work. It is against common sense and reason.