PDP presidential candidate: Has Wike made a choice at last?


By Codratus Godson

Gov Nyesom Wike of Rivers State said he has been under pressure to support an aspirant in the PDP race but that he has refused to do so. He said it was untrue that he had a candidate in mind.

He even said he had turned down requests by most aspirants for him to appoint a coordinator, urging the aspirants to choose by themselves. He said if he chose a coordinator, it would look like he had was supporting that aspirant.

He saw it as a trap and he side-stepped it.

Next, he said they were pressuring him to be a running mate and so be a vice president but that he had also turned it down. He said his task in Rivers State was still very important. Many felt he was not sure PDP would form the next government but he said it was because he loved Rivers more.

The D-Day is getting closer and Wike is seen to be physically closer to one aspirant, Sokoto State governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, at least by photoshoot. Tambuwal has visited PH many times but did not get the kind of space he wanted, and so, he came again on Monday, Independence Anniversary day. He got Wike all by himself to himself.

Tambuwal is also said to be the choice of the PDP governors forum. If that be the case, Wike wirlds huge influence there and nobody could have been picked there without his support.

Wike also produced the national chairman and so, whatever the governors forum wants must be wanted by the national executive committee of the PDP because their leaders are all from Rivers State and put heads together daily.

Also, the convention is coming to PH, meaning that Wike would have home advantage to deliver a president of his choice. Wike says he wants the person to emerge on his own but politics is hardly like that. Wike wants the APC out at all means and would not want somebody far from him to be next president after seeing what closeness means during GEJ. If Chibuike Amaechi is too close to PMB, Wike must be close to the next president. There are many strategic reasons why this must be so.

It is obvious who is not comfortable with Wike and PH being host to the convention, certainly not Tambuwal. The last minute visit by Abubabakar Atiku ,who was the first to come lobbying Wike, is significant; a last minute effort to wheel Wike around?

Tanbuwal has been steady on his campaigns, the way all northern winners start and end. He has avoided controversies and bombastic statements and is mild on Buhari to avoid drawing fire like Bukola Saraki and Atiku.  It has been said that the PDP caucus does not want somebody with obvious political injuries that can attract infection or too much attention from the EFCC and DSS. Does Tambuwal fit far from this?

Tambuwal may not be too loaded but his campaigns are going so well, like someone with consensus backers. Most northern presidential leaders look like that: Tafawa Balewa, Shehu Shagari, Umaru Musa ya’Adua. They usually look unassuming like underdogs but overtake the big names likes the Maitama Sule and Joseph Tarka of those days. They get stronger as the journey lasts until they pick the party ticket and go ahead to win the main elections. It has a pattern, if you had eyes.

The most important thing for most heavy weights in Nigeria at the moment is to stop this much muck-racking, probing too much, stirring ethnic tempers even if not giving equal ethnic shares. Many of them feel the Buhari presidency is too tempestuous and could cause uprising. They want Nigeria back to suffering but smiling instead of suffering and shouting bitterly.  They usually pick on a stable and aristocratic personality. Does Tambuwal not fit this bill?

These are all speculations, but the photo here may help say more. Has Wike made up his mind?