Nyesom Wike’s bid to clinch the presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has failed.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar fought off an impressive challenge by the Rivers governor to emerge as the opposition’s party flagbearer.
Wike’s defeat and Atiku’s triumph have been attributed to the decision of Sokoto governor Aminu Tambuwal to drop out of the race “in the interest of the country”. Tambuwal also mounted the podium at the PDP convention venue on Saturday night, instructing Sokoto delegates to join Team Atiku, effectively sealing Wike’s fate.
Before the votes were cast, observers pitched Tambuwal’s tent with Wike’s. The belief was that both governors were not only political allies but were also close friends.
Wike made a strong statement when, in January, he donated N500 million to traders affected by the fire that razed the Sokoto’s central market. The donation was even announced by Tambuwal’s media aide.
However, at the MKO Abiola Stadium on Saturday night, Atiku came tops despite Wike’s strong showing.
The Rivers governor can still hold his head high in defeat. He has vowed to support whoever triumphed. We’ll see what happens as we head into the 2023 general elections.