Two years after being inaugurated into office as governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike is still pitched in intense political battles just as another one to secure a second term in office come 2019 approaches. Last week, saw him gain and lose on different fronts.
Far away in Abuja, the federal capital territory, the Ikwerre born politician lost his home senatorial district to his political opponents, the All Progressives Congress (APC) as his man Friday, George Sekibo, who hitherto represented the Rivers East senatorial district, was booted out of office by the Appeal Court.
The court dismissed Sekibo's appeal against the legislative election petitions tribunal verdict which declared the APC candidate, Andrew Uchendu duly elected, thus ending the former's quest to retain his seat in the Senate.
Sekibo was declared winner of the election under controversial circumstances when Wike led some chieftains of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the collation centre at the Port Harcourt City Council Secretariat and insisted that officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announce the results without the collated results from Emohua, Etche, and Ikwerre Local Government Areas.
Alongside Uchendu were Magnus Abe, who was declared the duly elected senator representing Rivers South-East; and Barry Mpigi, Chidi Wihioka, Maurice Pronen as members representing Oyigbo/Tai/Eleme, Ikwerre/Emohua, and Khana/Gokana federal constituencies, respectively; andAzubike Wanjoku, Ikwerre, and Innocent Barikor, Gokana state constituencies, among others.
The series of judgments sparked wild jubilation among APC supporters across the state as to them it signified that Wike was losing the game ahead of 2019.
Wike was, however, consoled on Saturday, August 26, 2017 as the APC ward 11 chairman in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGA (ONELGA), Sheriff Onyenwibe, his vice, Kingsley Obiye, and scores of others defected from their party to join the PDP. This followed previous defections of APC supporters to the PDP in the last one year.
State chairman of the PDP, Felix Obuah received the defectors at Egbema Community Primary School field, Okwuzi in ONELGA.
How these defections would impact or impinge Wike's political fortunes come 2019 remain hazy at the moment as consultations, strategizing and brinkmanship continue across the state.
The governor's second term bid that has kept his political camp busy in the last few months remains the biggest political headache for both himself and his opponents. While he was busy finding ways to ensure his emergence as consensus candidate of his party and eventually win the guber polls, his opponents were also busy trying to pull the rug from under his feet and ensure he leaves the brick House come May 29, 2019.