Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike may have set confusion in the camp of the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar.
Wike seems to have given some false hope to Atiku on the possibility of his support for presidential ambition.
On Sunday, Wike had met with members of his presidential campaign team in Abuja where they attempted to review what has happened to them after the primary election where Atiku won.
While some people have interpreted the out come of that Abuja meeting to mean that Wike’s men would not leave the PDP but would unite for Atiku’s victory, TNN learnt that Atiku’s camp may be making a mistake to think that Wike would support Atiku.
Apart from Wike, his followers are not happy with the PDP candidate especially with the derogatory comments he made against Wike in a recent television interview.
Even though some of Wike’s supporters and core loyalists in Rivers State have said they were waiting for the governor to give them a direction on what they would do in 2023, they have also not hidden their reservations against the former vice president.
The governor himself has already given indications on how angry and disappointed he is with Atiku. On arrival from Spain during the weekend, Wike had lambasted Atiku, calling him a liar and querying some of the things Atiku said against him, an indication that the governor’s anger with Wike may not go down so soon.
TNN learnt that Wike may spring a surprise against Atiku in the coming days, as a way of showing his anger and resentment over Atiku’s disregard for him.
While some of his followers are of the opinion that Wike may sit in the PDP but mobilise support for another presidential candidate, other loyalists told TNN that Wike will neither work for the PDP nor any other party.
But what was clear is Wike’s perceived unpreparedness to spend his money or mobilise Rivers people to give their votes to Atiku.
One loyalist told our correspondent that “the day Atiku appeared by himself on Arise TV and spoke against the person and capacity of Wike was the day Atiku lost Wike’s support finally.
“His Excellency was unhappy about the way Atiku treated him with disdain after a committee set up by the PDP recommended Wike as his running mate. But the governor took it in his stride and decided to move on as a good party man, after Atiku chose Governor Okowa as his running mate. He did not bear gridges.
“But Atiku slapped our governor when he appeared on Arise TV. He re-opened old wounds and even went as far as telling the world that he chose Okowa because that was the man he could work with; the man who was a president in waiting. That was very insulting and demeaning.
“Well, we are waiting for direction from our leader, the governor. Whatever he tells us to do we will do, but I can tell you that we are not happy with Atiku and he has lost our support.”
During the week, chairman of Emohua Local Government, Dr Chidi Lloyd, in an interview he granted a Port Harcourt based radio station said the same thing-that Atiku had disrespected Wike with his comments and that they were expecting Wike to show them the way to go in 2023.
In making reference to what Atiku said during the television interview, Wike said last week on arrival from Spain that “no right thinkinglover of this party(PDP) will say that the speech he(Atiku) made on that day was fair.
“Forget about the scavengers and I never reacted to it. I said look, this party belongs to all of us. He appeared before the Arise Television, see the statements he made, so many lies were told and then he said I should not react to some of those issues; that will not be fair.
“Look at the statement they issued ,look at the abuse they rained on me. I never reacted and a times I will say look, you mean this thing happened? So it is important that as a person and for my own future and for those who rally around me this is not fair so I have made sure I will react line by line to statements made by Atiku Abubakar himself and his attack dogs.
“You see, when people tell lies, it’s most unfortunate. I have heard a lot of stories. For example, some senators called me, that he(Atiku) sent Bukola Saraki to me. That is not fair. That is not correct I was in Spain. Bukola came to me and said my brother how do we settle this problem, I said okay what do you want me to do, look at the issues.
“Atiku Abuakar came to my house to say I should support him(in 2019), so he doesn’t know my house again? People are calling you, those you don’t even know are calling you on phone. Atiku Bubakar cannot say that he has sent anybody to me, let one person say he came to see me and was sent by Atiku Abubakar.”
If Wike would not support Atiku, it is not clear if his support would be going the way of Peter Obi, who has already visited and sought his support for his presidential ambition.
Wike has always insisted that the next president should emerge from the southern part of the country. This much he had said immediately after the PDP primaries, on his return to Port Harcourt, from Abuja.
But it is not clear what his next action would be. However, indications emerged during the weekend that the former president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan may be sympathetic to the aspiration of Obi.
One of those who were pushing for the emergence of the former president as candidate of the APC, before the party primaries, hinted TNN that Jonathan has already given a signal that the support group should work for Obi.
One of the leaders of the support group confided in TNN that his group had already started making moves towards the actualisation of the Obi Presidency. He promised to speak with TNN formally in the coming days.