A party chieftain and member of the dissolved Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council in Rivers State, Iyke Ejie, has thrown his weight behind the proposed defection of former Governor Nyesom Wike to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to take charge of party affairs in Rivers State.
Ejie also urged Nigerians to ignore the statement credited to the former House of Representatives member, Austin Wokocha, that the ex-governor Wike didn’t work for the victory of President Bola Tinubu in the state.
Wokocha, Punch reported, faulted the call made by a former Chief of Staff, Tony Okocha, for Wike to cross over and lead the APC in the state, following speculations that the ex-governor is weighing his options.
Wokocha, a former Commissioner for Power, frowned at the move, saying Wike is unfit to lead the opposition party in the state and did not campaign for President Bola Tinubu as speculated.
But Ejie dismissed Wokocha’s claim as untrue and baseless.
In a statement in Abuja on Monday evening, the prominent APC chieftain argued that Wike, just as any other person, has the constitutional right to belong to any political party and aspire for leadership.
“If not for Wike’s support, the APC wouldn’t have won in the state. When the chips were down, the governor threw his weight behind Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who had more political spread and acceptability.
“Remember, he led the G-5 governors who stood by equity, fairness and inclusiveness and insisted on a president from the southern extraction who, against all odds, delivered President Tinubu, which Mr President himself acknowledged when he came to Rivers State for a ‘thank you’ visit.
“Let me state without mincing words, the public should disregard those acclaimed Rivers State APC leaders feckless press statement against the real and authentic Rivers APC members led by Chief Tony Okocha, who fought; campaigned for Asiwaju’s victory. While some elements who acted as moles within the APC were working for Mr Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and Sen. Magnus Ngei Abe against Asiwaju’s victory.
“Let me state without equivocation that Wike delivered Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who is from the Southern region, in line with his resolve and that of the G-5 governors for power shift to the South.
“The fact remains that Chief Tony Okocha is the leader of APC in Rivers State and I reiterate the call for Wike to join the APC in Rivers State and lead us because he is a man with vision and can be trusted.
“It is his constitutional right to belong to a party of his choice.”