The governor of Rivers States and member of G-5 group, Nyesom Wike allegedly slighted the presidential bid of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and Bola Tinubu All Progressive Congress (APC) at a special event in Rivers State on Sunday. 

Driving the news 
The incumbent governor who is not shy of controversy agreed that Nigeria is not ripe for muslim-muslim ticket referring to the presidential bid of APC’s Tinubu. Gov Wike also said “your party wants the presidency to go to the same zone where president Muhammadu Buhari is coming from. Who is cheating who?”; referring to the presidential candidacy of his party’s flag bearer, Alhaji Atiku. 

State of play 
Gov Wike and four other governor-members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have openly distanced themselves from the presidential campaign of the party’s leadership and flag bearer, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. With less than ninety 90 days until Election Day, PDP is not assured of the support of five of its governor-members.

  • Gov Wike has honoured several closed-door meetings with opposition parties including the Labour Party presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi. 
  • With the ongoing fracas in the PDP, reports claim that the governor might endorse one of his party’s opposition candidates.

Rivers State Relevance 
All elected office holders in Gov Wike’s Rivers State including his deputy Governor, and members of the state’s parliament are members of the PDP. In the 2019 election, Rivers State recorded 3.21 million registered voters which named Rivers State as the state with the largest number of voters in the south-south region. The south-south is again the second region with the most registrants in the suspended continuous voters registration exercise with 2,458,095 registrants. A tally in which Rivers State added 473,924 newly registered voters as revealed by INEC. 

Away from that, the south-south region is a highly desirable region as neither Labour Party nor APC has a strong representation in the region. A vote of confidence by a PDP governor would prove decisive in winning the hearts of the people in the region. 

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