Wike Finally Set To Join APC
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, might be inching closer to joining the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) following a meeting between his loyalists within APC and the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party led by Dr. Abdulahi Ganduje.
Recently the media was awash with reports that Wike would soon join APC.
Nevertheless, the news of Wike’s impending arrival did not go down well with the faction of the party loyal to a former Governor of Rivers State and the immediate past Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, who immediately kicked against it.
However, the ruling party recently included the name of Wike in the campaign council for the Bayelsa state governorship election slated for November 11, which further gave credence to his planned defection to the ruling party. Alhough the party later retracted.
But the meeting between the leadership of APC Rivers State and the NWC was held at the national secretariat yesterday in Abuja.
The delegation led by Tony Okocha, a former Chief of Staff to Amaechi told Ganduje that whenever they wanted to be considered for appointments, the party should contact Wike who he described as the “political infantry” in the state.
Okocha expressed dismay that a faction of the party in Rivers State led by Tonye Cole and Dakuku Peterside recently paid courtesy visit to the NWC, lobbying for political appointments despite working against the party.
He alleged that prior to the election, Amaechi called a meeting where he informed them that he had struck a deal with the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar and directed them to vote the PDP against the party’s candidate, Bola Tinubu.
Okocha said: “In Rivers State, the leader of the slant which Cole and Dakuku, et al, belonged, had helmed up alliances with the PDP Presidential Candidate, HE, Atiku Abubakar. Atiku and not Tinubu should be voted for in the presidential election.
“This wicked resolve against the APC in Rivers was openly announced in a meeting at the instance of the leader at his private residence in Port Harcourt, thickly attended by Mr. Cole, Dakuku, Chukwudi Dimkpa, et al, members of the innermost caucus.
“It was handed down that Tinubu must fail in Rivers State. They were mandated to transport to their supporters in the 6,868 polling units, 319 wards and 23 local government areas in Rivers State.
“We have pictorial, visual and individual testimonies to this. So, how did they contribute to the party’s presidential victory in Rivers State and unable to deliver their members who contested National Assembly elections on the same day?”
Okocha said since 1999, PDP had always won both the presidential and governorship elections back to back in Rivers State.
He added: “How did APC win the presidential election in Rivers State, while the PDP won 13 out of 15 federal constituencies in Rivers State, losing one to the APC and One to the Labour Party?
“How did the PDP win all three Senatorial seats in Rivers State? How did PDP trounce the APC to a distant second position in the governorship election in Rivers State?
“What magic could have made it impossible for the PDP not to win the Presidential Election in Rivers State, even after Amaechi, et al, voted for the PDP in their units and wards?”
Okocha therefore, challenged them to show the results of the Presidential election in their various polling units when next they come to the party secretariat.
He noted that their incessant visits to the National Secretariat of the party smack of sinister motives, saying otherwise, why should the essence of their visits, not bother on how the fragmented APC Rivers would be rebuilt.
According to him, why the rush to Abuja, assuming there are skirmishes in APC Rivers to resolve? Is the Rivers State APC chapter in controversy with the National APC? Why is the knack for benefits palpable in their presentations?
Okocha maintained that they never supported the party nor were they sincere in their hearts to be happy that President Tinubu made it to the presidency.
He stated: “Mr. Chairman, we summarise that the only group in APC Rivers State legitimate to seek compensation for the victory of APC/Tinubu in RIvers State, is the one here.
“Please contact us for our dues and appointments through the leader of the Political infantry in Rivers State, who is serving in the Federal Cabinet presently.”
Responding, Ganduje urged the political actors in the state not to overheat the polity.
He noted that the travails of APC in Rivers started in 2015 when the party had a government and lost a government.
Ganduje said: “I could recall vividly that the governor said at that time, people should not go out for voting some few hours before voting because he complained of intimidation.
“We said how can a ruling government prevent his people to go out and vote. I said no doubt we have lost this election? Because whatever you do, you didn’t even go to vote, then how do you claim that you have won the election?
“That was the beginning of the travail, i don’t want to go into details. Because you have mentioned more than the details I know.”
The chairman admitted that the party in Rivers State was highly fictionalised, that is a fact about it.
Ganduje noted, “Our party in River State is highly fictionalized, that is a fact about it. Our party in Rivers state was killed by litigations, that one is a fact.
“And one important question that you asked. How come we won the presidential election and lost the state election? You said that was a miracle. Yes, if you say a miracle, there must be a messiah.”
The chairman commended the faction for working for the party during the election, saying without them, Tinubu could not have become the president of this country.
Ganduje noted: “But what we are saying, yes, there is confusion in the party, but we don’t want members to overheat the system. We are focused, we are organised, we work scientifically in politics.
“And therefore, give us an enabling environment, give us a chance so that we can put a round peg in a round hole, square peg in a square hole, so that we maintain our dignity as a party.
“We have to capitalise on what we have, we have to capitalise on the fact that we have won the national election in River State. We are not expecting anything less again, but give us a chance to see how we can have both the states and the national election together.
“Whatever it is, we have received your address and the party will come in and see how we can get a solid party leadership so that we can move forward. But what we are begging, do not to overheat the system.
“Overheating the system, some will go for litigation and then a vicious cycle will come again. We don’t want too much analysis because they say too much analysis leads to paralysis.”
Ganduje urged them to give the leadership of the party a chance to consult, and look at the constitution of APC to make things right.
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