Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has continued to keep a firm grip on both the state chapters of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, thus isolating former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi.
Wike, who’s of the PDP has maintained a middle lane concerning the activities of both the APC and PDP, confounding his opponents like Amaechi who is now technically regarded as an APC member.
His confusing political game has forced the governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, in March 18 governorship elections in the state, Magnus Abe, to withdraw his petition before the elections tribunal challenging the outcome of the exercise.
The strongman of Rivers politics followed his high octane politicking ahead of the general elections to make the political climate in the state toxic for his opponents, forcing the relocation of the tribunal from Port Harcourt to Abuja.
While Amaechi appears to be in political limbo as he reportedly failed to support the candidacy of the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, during the February 25 election, Wike has shown politically, and has met with Tinubu, the president-elect.
On a visit to Tinubu a few days ago, alongside his Oyo State counterpart, Seyi Makinde, Wike solicited support for the coming administration, assuring that Nigeria would be better when Tinubu ascends the leadership position of the country.
He has also been rumoured to be nominated by the president-elect as Minister of Interior, a development the spokesman of the Presidential Inauguration Council, Bayo Onanuga, has failed to confirm when contacted.
It’s gathered that Wike’s grip on the parties has stalled Amaechi’s expected defection to the PDP and the plan is said to be on hold until Wike eventually emerges a minister under the APC.
Wike has not denied the rumour that he would defect to the APC alongside the governor-elect and all PDP state machineries owing to his opposition to the PDP leadership crisis.
But in what appears to be a placation from the Tinubu camp to firmly accommodate Wike, Abe said his decision to withdraw the case at the tribunal was based on a decision from Abuja.
Abe who defected from the APC before the 2023 election to clinch the governorship ticket of the SDP is a strong supporter of Tinubu and successfully galvanised voters for his presidential election.
Giving reasons as to why he withdrew his case, Abe said, “Having made a very clear review of the situation and what is happening in the state,” he said he consulted with people within the state and Abuja to “withdraw my petition at the election petition tribunal”
He pointed out that, “In the interest, first of those who have suffered and laboured so much in this politics in support of our course, more importantly in the interest of our state, so that we begin to reduce the bickering and confusion in the state in order to give us all an opportunity to be able to move forward with our lives.
“I take this decision, very conscious of the pains, the trauma, of the confusion it will bring to a lot of you who wanted that opportunity to present your pains before the public in a court of law so the court have the opportunity to decide what happened to us here in the state (Rivers) whether it was good or bad.
“That would have been our joy and we were committed and determined to bring that to the past but at the end of the day, politics is not a single person’s sport. It is a team sport and playing with members of your team, you make decisions such as we have in the wider interest of the entire team and not to satisfy anyone, person or individual.
“I know a lot of you will be very pained or may be very upset by this decision, but I say to you the interest of all of us overrides the interests of anyone of us.”