A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Tony Okocha, has called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to give the ministerial slot for Rivers State in his yet-to-be formed cabinet to the immediate-past governor of the state, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.
This is as he called on the former governor to dump the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and join the APC in order to provide formidable leadership for the party in the state.
Okocha, who is also former national chairman of Protocols/Logistics Committee of the defunct Tinubu-Shettima Grassroots Independent Campaign Council (TSGICC), spoke yesterday shortly after a meeting of APC stakeholders in Port Harcourt.
He stated that their demand for the ministerial slot to be given to Wike was based on the fact that the former governor contributed immensely to the victory recorded by Tinubu in the state during the February 25, 2023 presidential election.
The APC leader said: “We are also here to rekindle, to restate, to re-emphasize the fact that leadership is as old as creation; that in the leadership of Tinubu’s family in Rivers State, we are pleased 100 percent with His Excellency, Barrister Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, the immediate-past governor of Rivers State.
“We are pleased to him as our leader because he who pays the piper, dictates the tune. When even the national could not oblige us with funds for the national rally that a lot of you here featured, the magic was done by somebody.
“When Emefiele and his team made it possible for monies to move for our campaigns in the state, somebody made it possible for us to fund our agents in 6,868 polling units in Rivers State and did other ground works.
“We make this demand because demand is different from request; request has to do with privilege, demand is a right. As our right and because we won an election; Rivers State is one of the states that delivered Tinubu outrightly with 25 percent. In the whole of South-South and South-East, it is only in Rivers State that Tinubu won outrightly.
“So, we have a right of entitlement. Our demand is that nobody should rob Peter to pay Paul. Our own share of the booty should be handed over to His Excellency, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike. We say so because we are confident as soon as it gets to him, he knows those who worked for Tinubu and it will get to us. It is only natural that it should go that way.”
Okocha said some political leaders in the state who abandon Tinubu when he needed them most are now making moves to pick up appointments in the new government, using their personal relationships.
He stated that there was the need for Wike to come over to the APC to provide leadership for the party in the state, since the PDP does not value and understand his influence and pedigree.
The APC chieftain said: “Suffice it again to say that as a party, forward-looking, there will be election in Nigeria in the next couple of months, APC is not at the verge of going into extinction in Nigeria. But, truly, APC in Rivers State is emorraging and bleeding. In fact, we are bleeding to ICU.
“It does appear to us that the leadership of PDP in Nigeria, do not appreciate, understand the influence; they don’t understand the pedigree that is embedded in Wike. It does appear to us that the PDP does not know what they have in Wike.
“So, we are asking and calling on Wike come over to Macedonia and lead us. Wike should come over to APC and lead us.”