Major stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State have urged President Bola Tinubu to consider former Governor Nyesom Wike for ministerial appointment.
The stakeholders under the aegis of Amalgamated Bola Tinubu Campaign Council, Rivers State, led by former Chief of Staff to the Rivers State Government and stalwart of the party, Chief Tony Okocha, explained that the call was premised on the role Wike played in Tinubu’s victory during the February 25 presidential election.
Okocha urged the public to disregard what he described as cheap political stunts by the former governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) Magnus Abe, in Rivers state to suddenly take the front seat in Tinubu’s political veranda, after he left the APC at a time he was most needed.
Attributing the victory of the APC in the state to the effort of Wike, Okocha said he played the role of keeping the APC together when major stakeholders of the party turned their backs.
He said: “When Ameachi had left, Magnus had left what remained was the little I could control with an amalgamation of support groups. From 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 per cent, in 2019 we scored 5 per cent. 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 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, 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 as 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.”