Wike may have set out to lure Bello Matawalle, Governor of Zamfara State into a brawl after his defection.
That hasn’t happened.
Matawalle has not even as much as moved a muscle, not to talk of opening his mouth to respond to curses from the political pulpit in Port Harcourt.
Those who know the Rivers Governor well say he hates to be ignored. It is not clear if this tendency has anything to do with suffering from an ego problem.
But the reason why Governor Nyesom Wike is smarting over the decision of Governor Matawalle to dump the PDP has finally come to light.
Wike who is gradually turning into a toast of the Nigerian press, perhaps as a result of his highly controversial remarks, was a guest of Arise Television.
It turned out that Governor Wike and others whom he did not name had traveled for three hours by road through bandit-infested-territory to Gusau to talk with Matawalle.
Wike recalls in an interview with Arise Television how he traveled through “terribly bad road” in the company of his colleagues (which may have included Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State) to persuade Bello Matawalle to reconsider his position to reject the PDP.
A few days ago, Matawalle shunned the plea of the PDP Governors and went ahead with his plan to join the APC.
Wike went livid with rage in Port Harcourt, calling his colleague from Zamfara all sorts of names.
He told Arise, “I have never taken such a risk in my life, flying down to Sokoto with my colleagues and travelling by very bad road from Sokoto to Zamfara.”
Wike talked about the risks to their lives while on the trip, acknowledging there was “of course the issue of insecurity” to deal with “for three hours.”
“We went to see our colleague and you can’t understand what your colleague was saying”, the Rivers Governor remarked.
It may be that State economic interests more than what the PDP can offer as a platform may have informed Matawalle’s decision to port at the APC.
Gold can be found in commercial quantity in Zamfara. With the Federal Government intent on organizing mining operations, cutting a deal that would favour the Zamfara people from the outset may have become more compelling.
Besides, Wike may shout all he wants, oppose any person he dislikes even if it is the Federal Government because of the resources that are coming to his State from derivation, that’s possibly not the case for Zamfara which may need to stoop as the English say to conquer.
None of the three governors who have so far defected to APC, according to Wike, has told Nigerians why they left PDP.
He said there is a possibility they drifted to the APC either to seek political relevance or protection from prosecution from the Buhari administration.
Apparently incensed by Matawalle’s defection, Wike is urging his friends in the PDP to go to court as a last resort.
He insists that it was the party which went to court to challenge the none-adherence to the Electoral Act by the APC.
Wike who is rumored to share close ties with judges said the litigation instituted by the party led to the Supreme Court judgment that paved the way for Matawalle to become governor.
Hear Wike: “PDP went to court to say that the APC did not fulfil the Electoral Act; they did not comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act because INEC said there was no primary and INEC said every party must conduct primary.”
Obviously trying to downplay the exodus that is taking place in the PDP, Wike expressed optimism that many APC bigwigs will defect to the opposition as the 2023 general election approaches.
Sounding a bit patronizing, the Rivers Governor noted that he would not advise anyone to defect from the APC to PDP at this time because not everyone can face the persecution of the APC-led federal government.
“So, many people in APC cannot now openly defect to PDP”, Wike stressed, “You must be very careful with fear of being hunted.
He alluded to the fear of being invited to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
“It is not easy but I can tell you, you will see what will happen as we move next year towards going to the period when Buhari’s tenure will expire.
“You will see. Many people will come out at that time; the president will not have anything to do.
“But if anybody tries it now, then you must be prepared to face the consequences, so it’s not easy”, Wike added.
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