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Fayemi, Akeredolu, Sanwo-Olu in Rivers to Woo Wike

todayJuly 9, 2022

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* Ganduje says Tinubu has agreed to pick Muslim VP as APC’s presidential candidate departs France for Lagos

Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt and Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano

Some governors elected on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday met with the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike at his country home in Port Harcourt, apparently to woo him to join the APC ahead of the 2023 elections.
On the same day, Kano State Governor, Umar Ganduje claimed that the presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Tinubu, had agreed to pick a Muslim vice-presidential candidate for 2023.
Wike, who lost the presidential ticket of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar and also failed to get the Vice-Presidential ticket of the party, has been at loggerheads with the PDP ever since.
The governors who met with Wike yesterday were Kayode Fayemi, Rotimi Akeredolu and Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Ekiti, Ondo, and Lagos states, respectively.
Others in their entourage were the Ekiti State Governor-elect, Biodun Oyebanji; former Ekiti State governor and PDP chieftain, Ayodele Fayose, among others.
Sources said the APC governors are banking on the recent fallout of Wike with PDP leadership, after the main opposition party’s presidential primary, to get him into their party.
Wike has recently been receiving visits from politicians across political parties.
Following Atiku’s choice of Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, as running mate, the Chairman of the PDP’s Board of Trustees, Senator Walid Jibrin, said the party had set up a nine-member committee to beg Wike.
The former vice president is believed to have nominated Okowa, despite the recommendation of Wike for the position by a 17-man committee set up by the party.
The crisis worsened with the loyalists of Wike threatening to leave the party if their principal defects.
But Atiku recently allayed fears over the crisis in the party, saying he would ensure reconciliation.
The crack in the main opposition party came to the limelight after the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, accused Atiku of failing to honour the democratic choice in the selection of his running mate.
According to him, Wike, and others who backed (Wike) for the PDP vice-presidential ticket slot deserve a detailed explanation from the party’s presidential candidate.
Ortom, who said this during an interview on Arise TV on June 29, 2022, said it was surprising that Atiku could jettison the recommendation of 14 out of 17 members of the committee that recommended Wike as his running mate.
Ortom said: “I was among the 17-man committee that was set up by the candidate himself and some of us said Wike should be the vice-president. We discussed that in our meeting and we said it did not matter if he had supported the presidential candidate or not, but all that we need is unity and how to make things work.
“Unfortunately, the candidate himself picked Okowa. Some of us have resorted to prayers. I was really confused because I felt Wike would have been the VP. He was the second person to Atiku and Wike has charisma. All of us have our weak points.
“Wike can be something, but when it comes to mobilisation, impact, value addition and reaching out, Wike is an instrument. Wike is somebody who stood for the party. For some of us, we believed in him, but unfortunately, it was someone else.”

Ganduje Says Tinubu Has Agreed to Pick Muslim VP
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State yesterday claimed that Tinubu had agreed to pick a Muslim vice-presidential candidate for 2023.
Ganduje, who was speaking during a gathering of clerics at the Government House as part of activities to mark Eid El Kabir, said: “We have advised him to pick a Muslim deputy and he has agreed. A Muslim-Muslim ticket is a reality. It is not something new in Nigeria.”
The Governor asked the clerics to pray for Tinubu to emerge as Nigeria’s president come 2023.
Meanwhile, Tinubu was said to have left France yesterday, where he had travelled to for “important meetings”, for Lagos.
The APC presidential candidate, via his official Twitter handle, yesterday evening, shared a tweet, “Heading home,” with a link to his Instagram page showing him inside an aircraft.
Tinubu departed Nigeria shortly after he held a closed-door meeting with Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on June 27.
A statement issued by his spokesman, Tunde Rahman, in Abuja then said: “He (Tinubu) is off to Paris, France to hold some important meetings. The APC standard-bearer is expected back in the country shortly.”

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todayJuly 9, 2022

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