Following his defeat in the People Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential primaries, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has decided to support former Lagos State Governor Bola Tinubu in his bid for the presidency, POLITICS NIGERIA can authoritatively reveal.
Wike, who finished second in the fight for the party’s ticket, was defeated on Saturday by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who received 371 votes to Wike’s 237.
Bukola Saraki, the former president of the Senate, came in third with 70 votes, while Governor Udom came in fourth with 38 votes.
Pundits say Wike’s election loss was caused by a last-minute agreement between Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal and Abubakar. At the eleventh hour, the former declared support for the latter.
Wike, on the other hand, will not be supporting PDP as predicted, according to various sources familiar with internal workings. Rather, he would rally behind Tinubu, a presidential candidate who has a chance to secure the ticket within the All Progressives Congress, or APC.
This, according to sources, is due to the outcome of Saturday’s election, with the Rivers state governor at odds with fellow south-south governors, whom he believes played a role in his defeat.
“As far as I’m concerned, nothing to be concerned about.” I ran for president on the basis of a deal with all of the Southern governors and leaders that the presidency should belong to the South.
“We’ve each done our part. We have never deceived someone since betrayal is not in our blood. However, it is a disgrace to those people, some Southern governors, who were exploited to destroy our success. On the other hand, we’ve proven them that we’re not like them,” Rivers Governor Peter Obi remarked on Monday.
According to another source, there is an unspoken agreement between Tinubu and Wike prior to Saturday that stipulates the latter will support the former if he loses in the primaries.
According to this source, Wike has vowed to deliver South South, which is his stronghold, to Tinubu, just like some governors who have a secret deal with APC officials.
Tinubu’s arrangement with Wike also allows him to ‘create problems’ for Rotimi Amaechi, one of his presidential candidates in the APC. Wike’s subtle support for Senator Magnus Abe, who is an opponent of Amaechi and is currently challenging him for the APC structure in Rivers state, demonstrates this.
It’s worth noting that Amaechi, the current Minister of Transportation, is Wike’s arch opponent.
Wike’s move has already been noticed by some high-ranking members of the Peoples Democratic Party, who have begun settlement negotiations. The visit of Abubakar to Wike’s residence on Monday was part of this.
The Ikwerre-born politician has previously professed his admiration and support for the Lagos political leader, saying that he would never “say or do anything to tarnish the elder statesman’s hard-earned reputation.”