Former Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has visited the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, at the national secretariat of the party in consideration of his possible defection plan.
Wike, a member of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is a minister-designate having been cleared a week ago by the Senate following his nomination by President Bola Tinubu.
The former Minister of State for Education said his call was “a thank you visit” to the APC chairman but sources said plans are in top gear to his official defection to the APC.
While still serving as Rivers governor, Wike had described the APC as ‘cancer’, saying he’ll rather remain with the PDP which he likened to ‘Malaria’.
But after falling out with the PDP following his failure to pick the party’s presidential ticket, Wike teamed up with some southern governors under what was known as the ‘G-5’ to work against the party at the polls.
Although he promised to remain in PDP, sources said the soon-to-be minister will avoid being seen as one with “divided loyalty” hence his plan to formally join the ruling party.
It was gathered that the former local government chairman will be handed over the structure of APC in Rivers State where he will also be joined by the current governor, federal lawmakers, and other elected members of the party from the state on the platform of the PDP.
It’s not clear when he will join the APC as a member of the APC’s National Executive Committee who disclosed this, could not provide further details about the development.
“Wike will defect (soon) to the APC, take it from me. It’s not a matter of if but when.
“I know he is likely to defect as soon as he’s inaugurated as a minister,” said the source.
The 45 ministerial nominees who were cleared by the Senate last week have not been inaugurated. Three of the nominees failed their confirmation hearing.
Attempts to speak with the Spokesman of the APC, Felix Morka, proved unsuccessful as his telephone line was not available, however, it was learnt that the leadership of the APC is also applying pressure to ensure “Wike swells the rank of the party.”
The party under Ganduje, a source said, “does not want to be seen as weak that a sitting minister is still a member of another party. That’s why Wike will soon join us.”
The Wike camp did not respond to calls for comment.
The immediate past governor of Rivers State is facing expulsion from the PDP. The party is exploring legal grounds that will not go against the constitution and the electoral act before he’s expelled.
Wike had rushed to court ahead of the 2023 general election and obtained an injunction barring the PDP from expelling him. The case is yet to be determined at the federal high court.