BREAKING: How Wike became Tinubu’s minister despite PDP membership [DETAILS]

Despite being a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the immediate past governor of Rivers, Barrister Nyesom Wike, took many by surprise when he got the state’s ministerial slot believed to be an exclusive reserve for registered members of ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

With Wike’s visit to the APC national chairman, Abdullahi Ganduje, on Tuesday, many suggest that his defection to the APC may come sooner than later….CONTINUE READING

Politics Nigeria understands that after fully settling down at the Presidential Villa, President Bola Tinubu gave the nod to the APC across the 36 states of the federation to nominate one person for ministerial positions.

The composition of the Federal Executive Council is spread across all the 36 states of the federation as a reflection of the federal character principle and equal representation of all the states in the executive council.

The president’s nomination is constitutionally guided to consist of at least 37 persons, one per state and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Another legal requirement is for the president to ensure that the nominations are made no later than 60 days from his inauguration.

About 45 ministerial nominees, including the former governor of Rivers state, have been screened and confirmed by the Senate.

Sources revealled that Wike, a notable member of the opposition PDP who has now clinched the FCT ministerial slot, used the platform of the APC to get back to his party after his inability to secure the presidential and vice presidential tickets which pitched him against the leadership.

But the crisis over who is in charge of the leadership of the APC in Rivers had given Wike ample opportunity to strategise and win the hearts of the party’s top shots.
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The leadership of Rivers APC was engrossed in a crisis that made the former transportation minister, Chibuike Amaechi, lose grip of the party’s structure.

”The power tussle led to a mass exodus of notable members of the party to the PDP. Wike cashed in on the crisis and deployed human and material resources to woo many APC members to his side,” a source told DailyTrust.

Influential members of the party such as Prince Tonye Princewill, Senator Magnus Abe, Dr Dawari George, Hon. Ogbonna Nwuke, Chris Finebone, among others, left the party to join the PDP and other political parties.

The crisis continued to dwarf the party’s fortunes until the APC presidential primaries gave President Tinubu the presidential ticket.

Amaechi, who came a distant third in the APC presidential primary election, was said not to have supported Tinubu despite the president’s hand of fellowship extended to him after the election.

Prior to the February 25, 2023, presidential election, the structure of APC in Rivers became weak just as Tinubu’s chances of winning the State became bleak.

Prominent leaders of Rivers APC had turned the Ada George Port Harcourt residence of Wike into a beehive where they go to woo the former governor to join the party.

The result of their lobby was evident at the APC presidential rally in Port Harcourt when Wike declared that he would support Tinubu.

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The former governor deployed financial and logistic support to ensure that Tinubu won the presidential election in Rivers.

After the inauguration of Tinubu as president, the issue of Wike’s ministerial nomination came to the front burner.
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The question of who takes the state’s ministerial slot became a contention between Wike and other prominent members of APC. The likes of Senator Magnus Abe who defected from APC to SDP to contest the governorship election, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, former DG of NIMASA, Tiens Jackrich a businessman and Tonye Cole, the APC governorship candidate, were all willing to get the ministerial position.

The above-named politicians contributed their quotas in ensuring that Tinubu won in Rivers State.

While Wike is said to have taken advantage of the APC leadership crisis in the state and the role he played towards the victory of Tinubu in the presidential election to get the ministerial slot, Senator Abe is said to have relied on the role he played in the early formation of BAT in the state as well as his closeness to the president’s family to lobby for the slot.

Abe attempted to exploit his connection with Tinubu’s wife, Oluremi, to have his way. Abe and Oluremi were in the 8th Senate and had worked together, especially when she chaired the committee on environment.

Oluremi was said to have rooted for Abe for the ministerial position, but powerful forces in APC and the presidency favoured Wike.

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Prior to his nomination and clearance by the Senate, Wike had made the presidential villa his second home, where he had lobbied extensively, using the role he played in the state during the presidential election as bait to get the ministerial position.

The leadership crisis in Rivers’ APC, coupled with Amaechi, the leader of APC in Rivers, was said not to have supported Tinubu during the presidential election, gave the PDP chieftain the advantage to corner the APC ministerial slot for Rivers.
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Daily Trust reports that the fight over who clinched the state’s ministerial position had pitched Wike, Abe’s supporters, and the APC into a war of words.

For instance, the South-South Coordinator of Bola Ahmed Tinubu Vanguard, Chief Tony Okocha, who is a strong supporter of Wike, had called on the president to route through Wike all the political appointments meant for Rivers for the benefit of those that truly worked for him during the presidential election.

He argued that the law of natural justice demands that those that worked should reap the fruit of their labour.

According to him, without Wike, APC would have lost the presidential election in the state, maintaining that the former governor singlehandedly funded all the 6,868 polling units agents across the state and provided the logistics support for APC during the polls….CONTINUE READING

But Wike’s nomination as a minister, despite the initial obstacles he faced, did not sit well with the APC leadership in the state.