Alleged major stakeholders of All Progressives Congress, APC, in Rivers state, have urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to strongly consider the former governor of River State, Nyesom Wike, in his Ministerial appointments.
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 ‘enormous’ roles played by Wike which ensured Tinubu’s sustained victory in the state, during the February 25 presidential election.
Furthermore, he called on the general public, at a briefing with pressmen, Tuesday, in Abuja, to disregard what he described as cheap political stunt by the governorship candidate of Social Democratic Party, SDP, Magnus Abe, 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 Governor Nyesom Wike, Okocha also said he played the role of keeping the party 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. 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.