By Uche Amunike
Governor of River State, Nyesom Wike has given his approval for the presidential flag bearer of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, to make use of the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Elekahia, Port Harcourt, for his campaign rally slated for February 15, 2023.
Speaking at a News briefing in Port Harcourt, Wednesday, the RiversState coordinator of Bola Tinubu’s campaign organization, Tony Okochamade this known to the newsmen, stating that all necessary arrangements had been made to ensure a hitch free rally for the APC presidential candidate.
He announced that Governor Wike approved the use of the stadium without collecting the requisite N5m fee as prescribed by the Executive Order 21 from the campaign council.
His words: ‘Wike in his usual magnanimity has granted the approval of an alternate venue, the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Elekahia, Port Harcourt, for the presidential campaign rally scheduled to hold on February 15, 2023 absolutely free of charge.’
‘But subject to the issuance of a written guarantee of the safety and security of the facilities at the venue due to the violence recorded in recent rallies by the governorship standard bearer of the party in the state.’
He also stated that an 11-man committee had been set up to coordinate and see to the successful hosting of the rally, assuring that the campaign committee in Rivers State had done all that was needed to see that Bola Tinubu wins in Rivers state.
Okocha is also the coordinator of the Bola Ahmed Tinubu Vanguard in the South-South.
Meanwhile, an Opobo-born chieftain of the APC and former Director General of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has described Wike as dishonest and inconsistent, and stated that his support for Bola Tinubu was all make-belief.
Speaking during an exclusive interview with Punch Newspapers, he bared his mind on several issues, including Wike’s seeming support for Bola Tinubu, maintaining that it was all hog wash. When he was asked on his thoughts about Wike supporting Tinubu’s presidential bid, he said he had no idea. Hear him: ‘I am not aware. I know there is so much disagreement and divergence in his team at Rivers. I bet you, Wike is playing a survival game and will not go out of his way for anybody. His perceived support base is all hogwash, make-believe, or just a creation of sponsored media. He thinks he is smart, but every day his inconsistency and dishonesty become evident. His present reality is that he has boxed himself into a tight corner. I feel for him. He obviously needs help.’
He maintained that he had never seen Wike camping for the APC, therefore, even if Tinubu were to succeed in his presidential bid, it would be proper for Wike to take any credits for it because it would also mean that he betrayed his own party. His words: ‘What would he have brought to the table, perhaps Rivers State government money? He obviously does not have popular support because he has none to offer. I have not seen him campaign for the APC. If APC and Asiwaju succeed, it will be incautious of Wike to claim any credit. There is no reward whatsoever for betraying your party.’