Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo has publicly declared his support for the presidential bid of his Rivers counterpart, Nyesom Wike.
On Tuesday, a group who tagged themselves ‘Friends of Wike’ presented the Rivers State governor the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, nomination form for presidency purchased on his behalf.
At the gathering, Mr Makinde hailed the gesture, extolling the attributes of Mr Wike which he said stands him fit among other aspirants for the position of president in 2023.
“You may not like his style but there are certain things that are very clear. Is he committed to a United Nigeria? Does he have the intellectual capacity? does he have the drive?” The Oyo governor retorted. “So you can collect your forms if you wish but for us we are desirous of a new Nigeria.”
Mr Makinde said further, ”Anyone who wants to buy forms, they are free to go and collect their forms. They are free to tell us who they like, what they have achieved and their plans for Nigeria.
“And please I will also implore those other aspirants. Please let’s focus on issues, don’t attack individuals or personalities, tell us what you can offer us but we know that this my young elder brother will do us proud and we will be behind him, we will support him and he will do us proud and we will jointly deliver a new Nigeria.”
Mr Wike, who will complete his second term as Rivers Governor in 2023, publicly declared his intention to run for presidency on Sunday. He said his agenda is to deliver what he calls a “New Nigeria.”
His tenure has featured dots of infrastructural developments across the oil-rich state with his admirers tagging him ‘Mr Project’. Notwithstanding, Mr Wike has long cut a wieldy but difficult image among government officials and party faithful, never shying away from brickbats and controversies against colleagues and opposition.
Critics say his loquacious, authoritarian posturing may cost him needed buy-in from party faithful around Nigeria. Nonetheless, Mr Wike wields sizable influence among PDP governors.