It would be correct to say that the former Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, had a crystal ball with him to predict that his political future would be better even if he pulls out of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for losing in the party’s primary to Atiku Abubakar.
That crystal ball perhaps was not wrong on Thursday, July 27, 2023 when the much awaited ministerial list was read out on the floor of the Senate by the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio.
Wike was number nine on the ministerial list presented to Akpabio by Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, the Chief of Staff to the President.
Wike’s inclusion on the list was the result of a well and thoroughly calculated move he made after losing his party’s primary. He pulled out of the PDP’s presidential campaign vowing not to be part of the party’s campaign team for the person he lost to – Atiku Abubakar.
He created the G-5 Governors and openly worked for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign by providing the needed logistics as well as Peter Obi’s Labour Party (LP) offering them assistance when they come to Rivers for the campaign.
Thursday’s ministerial list seeing Wike included was nothing more than President Tinubu saying thank you to the former Governor of Rivers state for risking his years of investment in politics particularly in the PDP and sticking out his neck to support him despite Atiku Abubakar being a strong contender of Tinubu in the 2023 presidential election.
Keen observers of Nigeria’s politics during and after the election had an inclination that Wike might just be one of best losers in PDP and that would be offered a “juicy” role in President Tinubu’s administration.
Wike was a free moral agent, he was likened to a football player after years of playing for a club he would be released as a free agent to go to a club of his choice at no cost – that was who he was during the 2023 general election and he pitched his tent with the APC who were willing to accept him and he is now enjoying the fruit of his years of labour in the PDP who failed to recognise his value and potential while in the party.
This confirms the saying – “you’ll never know what you have until you lose it”.
Also, according to a popular saying, “he who laughs last, laughs best” and Wike will forever be laughing for playing the game right.
Perhaps Atiku Abubakar and the PDP are gnashing their teeth now that Wike has been bought over by the APC.
Going back to the PDP’s primary, the former Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal who stepped down for Atiku Abubakar thought he played a fast one on Wike in the night of the primary, he thought he was politically skillful but Wike after analysing the event was presented another opportunity and gave his all to the APC.
On Wike, he has been given a lifeline, a joker card to make a mark in Tinubu’s administration and it is expected that he will play the card well and appropriately.