Nyesom Wike, the governor of Rivers State, has stated that he will announce his top choice for president in January 2023.
The governor announced this on Thursday and added that he will actively support his chosen candidate around the country.
“From January next year, I will campaign to my people whom they will vote for,” Wike said when he commissioned the tenth flyover by his administration in the Obio-Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers.
“So, all of you who have been in suspense, who have been saying all kinds of things, abusing me, wait. January is here.
“Not only will I tell them (my people) whom to vote, I will move from state to state (for campaigns) and why they should vote for the person, nothing will happen,” he said.
Following his defeat in the PDP presidential primaries in May, Wike and Atiku Abubakar have been at odds over who will lead Iyorchia Ayu.
After the presidential primary, former Vice President Atiku hurt Wike by selecting Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as his running partner rather than his closest challenger.
In order to back Atiku’s bid for the presidency in 2023, Wike and the other four PDP governors, collectively known as the G5 or the Integrity Group, have demanded that Ayu, who was born in Benue, resign and be replaced by a southerner.
In an effort to end the conflict, the Director General of Atiku’s Campaign, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, visited Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, a G5 member and one of Wike’s allies, earlier in December. However, no progress was made.
Later that day, Atiku said there was no imminent resolution to the problem despite his five meetings with Wike on Channels Television’s The People’s Townhall. As a result, Atiku, who had been in Benue earlier this month for campaigning, was snubbed by Ortom and Wike.
According to a Channels Television report from last month, Wike pledged logistical help for the presidential campaigns of Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP). Wike has also recently socialized with All Progressives Congress (APC) luminaries including as Adams Oshiomhole and governors of Ebonyi, Lagos, and Ben Ayade (Cross River).
Although Wike and his associates have not been seen supporting Atiku, it is unclear if they will back Obi, Kwankwaso, or Bola Tinubu of the APC in the race for Aso Rock’s top position.
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