Following the release of the list of ministerial nominees of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu last week, there is brewing tension between the immediate former governor of Rivers State His Excellency Nyesom Wike and the President, IgbereTV has learned.
According to TheWill, Wike is deeply saddened at the moment. Rather than rejoice that his wish of finally being nominated as a minister by the government of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC has been granted, he is disgruntled that he and members of the G5 governors have been shortchanged by President Bola Tinubu.
The G5 governors, self-styled as the Integrity Group, are a group of five governors from the People’s Democratic Party, PDP who refused to support their presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, because they believed the presidency ought to rotate from the north to the south after the eight years tenure of ex President Muhammadu Buhari.
The governors also demanded the resignation of the party chairman, Iyorcha Ayu on the premise that Atiku and Ayu, both presidential candidates and party chairman, are from the northern part of Nigeria. This arrangement they claim negates inclusivity. Besides Wike, the other governors are governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Okezie Ikpeazu, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and Samuel Ortom, ex governors of Abia, Enugu and Benue States respectively.
Recall that shortly before the general elections, speculations were rife that the G5 governors had switched their loyalties to the All Progressives Congress, APC, by working to deliver their states to the party in exchange for various political favours. These speculations turned to realities after the Independent National Election Commission, INEC announced the presidential results of Oyo and Rivers States with APC cleaning out in both states.
Also, shortly after Tinubu was sworn in as president, the G5 governors paid him a visit at Aso Rock with Wike and Makinde both paying him more visits as a duo. It was during those visits that assurances of political favours were reiterated via ministerial appointments. While Wike became a nominee from Rivers State despite being a member of PDP, Makinde and the rest got nothing. Makinde’s nominee for a ministerial position was overlooked.
Instead Tinubu nominated Adebayo Adelabu, a former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN and a former governorship candidate of Accord Party in Oyo State. Tinubu according to sources close to TheWill, also plans to nominate Prof Oyelaran Oyeyinka, another indigene of Oyo State in his next batch of ministerial nominees. Oyeyinka who is reportedly a nominee of Akinwunmi Adesina, president of African Development Bank, AfDB, is the special adviser to Adesina on Industrialization.
This, Makinde is undoubtedly not happy about as his candidate will most likely, not make the second batch of ministerial nominee.
Similarly, IgbereTV learnt that Wike’s nominee from Edo State, Dan Orbih was also sidelined. One may wonder what business Wike has with Edo State to want to have a say in who the president appoints minister from the state. Well, Orbih is a close ally of Wike, infact, his eyes and ears in the Midwestern state. Considered one of the most prolific state chairmen of any political party in the history of Nigeria, he successfully piloted the affairs of PDP in Edo state for 11 years.
Orbih who is currently the deputy national chairman of the party, South South in conjunction with Wike defeated the APC in the gubernatorial re election of Godwin Obaseki.
Orbih was also the instrument Wike fashioned against Obaseki when things went sour between them in his (Wike) bid to wrest control of PDP from Obaseki in the state. In very simple terms, Orbih is what you can describe as Wike’s man Friday. For his loyalty, Wike put in a word on his behalf to Tinubu as a ministerial nominee, as compensation.
Unfortunately, he wasn’t in the much touted list. Also, the other three governors were left high and dry. This is what is currently infuriating Wike. He has reportedly said that this (the ministerial list) isn’t what he discussed with Tinubu in confidence.
According to TheWill, Wike said that he hopes the rug had not been pulled from under his feet and expressed more hope for Tinubu to keep to their agreement with his next batch of ministerial nominees. In his characteristic manner, Wike allegedly plans to heat up the polity if his agreement with Tinubu doesn’t stand.