The Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, did not present his preferred presidential candidate for the 2023 election by the deadline he set in January.
According to a November 2022 PREMIUM TIMES article, Mr. Wike promised his supporters he would adopt a presidential candidate for them to support in the upcoming presidential election.
In December of the previous year, he reiterated the pledge, claiming that “nothing will happen” and that he would campaign for his favourite presidential candidate across the nation.
“So, all of you who have been in suspense, who have been saying all kinds of things, abusing me, wait, January is here,” Mr Wike said while commissioning a flyover in Port Harcourt.
The deadline passed on Tuesday (yesterday), but the oil-rich Rivers State governor had not kept his word.
Chris Finebone, the Rivers State Commissioner for Information, acknowledged to this newspaper on Wednesday morning that the governor had not yet announced his first choice.
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“He hasn’t done it yet but he will do it,” Mr Finebone said, appealing for patience from Nigerians.
Following his defeat by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar in the PDP’s presidential primaries, Mr. Wike, a party member, split with the PDP’s top brass.
The governor also had a falling out with Atiku, the PDP presidential candidate, for allegedly breaking a pledge to see that Iyorchia Ayu, the party’s national chairman, left so that a southerner could take over as party leader for the sake of “regional balance.”
Both Mr. Ayu and Atiku are from the north.
The G5, a group of PDP governors who are upset with Mr. Atiku and the PDP leadership, is now led by Mr. Wike.
The other G5 members are Governors Samuel Ortom of Benue, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu, Okezie Ikpaeazu of Abia, and Seyi Makinde of Oyo.
G5 members who were chosen to the Atiku presidential campaign council resigned from the group and abstained from the organization’s launch.
The quintet announced their decision to support a southern presidential candidate for the 2023 election in Abia State in November of last year. They claimed this decision was in keeping with the decision made by the southern governors forum that the presidency of Nigeria should be held by the south in 2023.
G5 member and governor of Benue State, Ortom, publicly supported former president Olusegun Obasanjo’s support for Peter Obi, the presidential candidate for the Labour Party (LP).
By ensuring justice and fairness for all Nigerians, Mr. Obi will be a true president of this nation, according to Mr. Ortom, who stated this in a statement via his spokesperson, Terver Akase.
According to the governor, Mr. Obi’s campaign in Nigeria would have been led by him had he not joined the PDP.
When the LP candidate campaigns in Port Harcourt, Mr. Wike has committed to back Mr. Obi logistically.
Governor Wike claimed to have provided vehicles and security for Mr. Obi’s campaign in the state following his appearance in Port Harcourt in December, according to TVC news.
It is unclear which of the two leading presidential contenders from the south Mr. Wike would announce as his preferred candidate.