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2023: Wike set to announce preferred presidential candidate January




THE Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has said he will reveal the presidential candidate to mobilize votes for in the forthcoming 2023 general elections in January.

This is coming barely three weeks after the governor promised members of the Rivers State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that a decision on who they will vote for in the presidential election would soon be taken.

Wike, in an earlier address at the commissioning of the Rukpokwu-Igwuruta Link Road in the Obio-Akpor Local Government Area, had enjoined the people of the state to vote the candidates of the PDP in the governorship, National Assembly and State House of Assembly elections but kept mum over his choice for the presidential poll.

Speaking at the inauguration of Rumuokwurusi-Elimgbu Flyover in Rumuokwurusi town in Obio-Akpor Council, on Thursday, December 22, Wike said he would undertake a nationwide campaign tour to tell Nigerians the most preferred presidential candidate to cast their votes for in the forthcoming election.

According to him, Nigerians need to know a reliable candidate they can trust to deliver the needed national transformation.

“So, from January next year, I will campaign to my people on whom to vote for. All of you, who have been in suspense, wait, January is coming. Not only will I tell them where they will vote, I will move from state to state and tell them why they should vote for the people I think they should vote for.”

Wike added that the 2023 general election will be used to retire some politicians.

He lamented that some persons have caused societal ills due to their political inconsistency and wondered if they could, in good conscience, claim to be fair to Nigerians and are fit to lead the country.

He said; “Those of you, who have never been stable, you move from PDP to another party, and you moved from there back to PDP. Those of you who campaigned in 2015, telling Nigerians if they vote for PDP, they are voting for insurgency; if they vote for PDP, they’re voting for corruption; wait, all of us will reply. We will tell Nigerians this thing that you said. Where do you stand now? Is it the same PDP or a new PDP?”

He insisted that going into an election and winning the needed victory goes beyond appearances on television shows, casting aspersions on others and talking big.

He said: “All of you appearing on television abusing me, don’t waste your saliva again. January has come. All those of you who are telling Nigerians that you used to have 40 shoes, you used to have 50 wrist watches, time has come to convert those shoes and wrist watches to votes. It’s not to be on the podium and raise your shoes high. And raise your wristwatch high. Time has come to convert them to votes.”

Recall that Governor Wike, a member of the PDP, fell out with the party leadership after the presidential primary which he lost to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

The governor also fell out with Atiku, the party’s presidential candidate for reneging on the alleged promise to ensure the exit of the National Chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu, so that a southerner can lead the party for the sake of a “regional balance”.

Wike leads the G5, a group of PDP governors who are aggrieved with Atiku and the PDP leadership. They G5 governors include Samuel Ortom (Benue), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), and Seyi Makinde (Oyo).

Ahead of the election, Wike has been associating with presidential candidates of other political parties such as Peter Obi of Labour Party (LP) and Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Just recently, he promised to provide logistics support for Obi’s campaign. The Rivers State governor also hosted chieftains of the APC, including Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo and Babajide Sanwo-olu of Lagos, in Port Harcourt.

Wike also held meetings with Obi and Tinubu in London during his trip to the United Kingdom.

Author profile

Nurudeen Akewushola is an investigative reporter and fact-checker with The ICIR. He believes courageous in-depth investigative reporting is the key to social justice, accountability and good governance in the society. You can shoot him a scoop via nyahaya@icirnigeria.org and @NurudeenAkewus1 on Twitter.

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