Rumours about Governor Nyesom Wike’s perceived interest in the presidential race are gradually leaving the realm of speculation.
There are increasing signs that months of speculation are steadily giving way to what seems like the emerging reality on ground.
The APC in Rivers State believes Wike has a date to keep in March. It said it was for this reason that the Governor is struggling to repatriate an aircraft allegedly abandoned by the Amaechi administration in Germany.
What that date holds for Wike, history and the Rivers people, the APC is yet to fully disclose.
Wike has been on the road most of the time, talking to influential leaders of the party, reconciling disagreeing members and rallying the party on the road to 2023.
The Rivers Governor has been to Benue, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Abia, Sokoto, Kaduna and the Plateau among others.
Many are talking about the fearlessness and the courage of the Obio/Akpor born politician who appears poised, from the run of events, to change the political landscape.
Some are even urging him to throw his hat into the ring. The PDP Renaissance Group in November last year asked Wike to vie for the presidency.
“Against the background of the clarion call and passionate expectation of Nigerians for good and enduring leadership”, the group urged Wike in a communique signed by its Chairman, Gabe Oji, to vie for the presidential seat.
“Having been dissatisfied with the rudderless leadership provided by the APC in the last six years”, the group based in Calabar resolved “amongst other issues, to call on the leadership of the PDP to present a man with character and content as the standard-bearer for the party’s presidential ticket in 2023 in order to further strengthen the faith of the people in the Nigerian polity.
“Governor Wike is a nationalist who truly believes in the unity and indissolubility of Nigeria and has clearly demonstrated this in his uncompromising stance against separatist agitations and his liberal posture as demonstrated during the Sokoto fire inferno.”
Reports are saying Wike would turn into a stumbling bloc for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State and Senator Bola Saraki, former Governor of Kwara State.
“Wike is making waves. People are thinking he can manage the country. His courage is legendary”, a high ranking PDP member who is a member of the National Assembly said in Abuja.
“The Rivers Governor fights like a panther. He is cunning, alert and focused. One more thing, he is detribalized, determined and dependable.
“Nyesom seemingly understands Nigeria’s politics from the way he is sounding. I must say the man has capacity”, the Abuja based lawmaker acknowledged.
“Wike has strong morale and he is raising our morale too, paying attention to details on matters of national interest and fighting to see that the PDP reclaims power from the APC”, a source, speaking under conditions of anonymity revealed in Port Harcourt.
In Benue, billboards urging the Governor to join the struggle for the presidential ticket of his party are now on the streets.
Wike maintains molding the party together, working for the emergence of a strong, purposeful and credible leader and the quest to openly rescue Nigeria from the APC is far more important.
He told former Governor Markafi in Kaduna that his visit was intended to rouse members of the party into building a broad coalition that would confront the APC and strengthen the power base of the party.
Recall that speaking in a similar vein, Wike said when a PDP presidential aspirant paid him a condolence visit in Port Harcourt in 2018, “What we are saying is that all of us must put our heads together to remove this government that does not mean well for Nigerians.”
The President of the League of Patriotic Lawyers, Abubakar Yesufu said in an interview last January, “Our call on Wike to throw his hat into the ring for the presidency stands.
“Our support for him grows daily. It is a product of years of watching his strides in Rivers State.”
While receiving a chieftaincy title on March 5, 2022 at Abalama Wike declared: “No amount of gang up can make PDP to give somebody who will want to run election for the interest of some big men, and not for all Nigerians.
“Anybody who wants to be candidate of PDP must be candidate for the interest of Nigerians.”
A few days ago, in Bayelsa, Wike vented his spleen on President Muhammadu Buhari, accusing him of refusing to sign the amended version of the Electoral Act into law.
The Governor observed that it was a ploy by the President to preserve the interest of the APC which wants nothing to do with the reworked bill.
No one is sure where Wike would go next or whom he will see as the days unfold, but most Nigerians are watching to see what his next step will be.
“Wike dey come ooo/Wike dey come ooo/ Wike dey come ooo/ I no gree/ I no gree/ I no gree ooo“, Nyesom Wike supporters sing most of the time.
From the look of things, these are no longer words of a mere song. There are signs that the Rivers Governor may indeed choose to vie.
“Wike na man wey sabi“, a Rivers youth, who simply gave his name as Adonye, said in Pidgin English in a chat with the Port Harcourt Telegraph, “Wike na guy man, ‘im go choke dem.“
According to The Nation newspaper, about 1,000,000 people have taken to the Governor’s Facebook page to urge him to enter the presidential race.
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