Lagos State Governor, Sanwo-Olu; his counterpart in Ondo, Rotimi Akeredolu; Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State and other chieftains of the All Progressives Congress on Friday led a delegation to visit Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.
There are speculations that the mission is to woo Wike and other aggrieved PDP members to align with the ruling government ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Following the division that rocked the PDP after Atiku’s emergence, there had been reports that Tinubu and Wike met in France.
Recall Tinubu’s spokesperson, Tunde Rahman, describing the report as “fake news” at the time.
Meanwhile, Wike was said to have shunned the emissaries of the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in Turkey few days back.
Governor Wike hosts the three APC Governors in Port Harcourt on Friday, 8 July 2022. The three Governors of the All Progressives Congress on Friday arrived at the private residence of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State for a closed door meeting.
Their visit isn’t unconnected to the crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) resulting from the nomination of Atiku Abubakar as the candidate of the main opposition party for the 2023 presidential election.
The crisis worsened after Atiku rejected the recommendation of an ad hoc committee of the party and picked Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, as his running mate.
The committee was reported to have recommended Mr Wike for the position, although the party later cllaimed that Mr Wike was only one of three nominees recommended by the committee.
According to the report from correspondent, the three South West governors are believed to be going to Port Harcourt for the meeting with Mr Wike as emissaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.
The newspaper said that when they contacted Mr Fayemi, he confirmed that he was indeed travelling with his two fellow APC governors to the Rivers State capital.
He also confirmed that the itinerary of the delegation includes a meeting with Governor Wike.
However, he said the meeting is not connected to partisan matters.
Mr Fayemi said the visiting governors would only be paying a courtesy call on their colleague, Mr Wike, while using the opportunity to discuss issues concerning the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF).
Mr Fayemi, who is the chairperson of the NGF, said the forum is having ongoing discussions on challenges related to national security, education and the economy, saying those would form the focus of the meeting of the visiting governors with Mr Wike.
“We are going to Port Harcourt to meet members of the APC in the state but have decided to use the opportunity to pay a courtesy call on our colleague, the governor of the state,” Mr Fayemi told this newspaper.
The Rivers State governor has tacitly remained opposed to his party’s candidate, Atiku, since the former vice president announced Mr Okowa as his running mate.
Instead, he has hosted the presidential candidates of Labour Party, Peter Obi, and that of the New Nigeria People’s Party, Rabiu Kwankwaso, in Port Harcourt over the period, sparking speculations that he was looking to bale out of the PDP.
Last week, the governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, decried the treatment the PDP and Atiku had allegedly meted on Mr Wike and advised the candidate to placate the governor.
Other leaders of the party, such as the chairperson of its Board of Trustees, Walid Jibrin, and former governor of Plateau, Jonah Jang, have also issued the same advice.
But an associate of Atiku, Adamu Waziri, a former minister who said he met Mr Wike in Turkey last week. raised an objection to the party sending a delegation to placate the Rivers governor, saying as a party man, he should be available at all times to support the PDP which had given him many opportunities