Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State on Thursday hailed his counterpart in Rivers State, Nyesom Wike for backing power rotation to Southern Nigeria.
El-Rufai, who joined Wike to commission the Eneka-Igbo Etche Link Road in the Obio-Akpo Local Government Area of the state, said the people of the oil-rich South-South state voted “quality over political sentiments”.
“I want to, on behalf of our presidential candidate and our party, thank you and the good people of Rivers State for making the right choice of voting for Aiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” said El-Rufai, a powerbroker in the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“It is the first time since the Fourth Republic started in 1999 that the PDP was unable to get 25% in Rivers State. It shows that the people of Rivers State can differentiate and they know when to vote for quality and they voted quality over political sentiments. We want to thank you for providing that leadership, Governor Wike.”
Wike, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), lost his party’s presidential ticket to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar last May. In the buildup to the February 25 presidential poll, Wike was unapologetically vocal about his opposition to the 2023 presidential ambition of Atiku, and had argued that power return to the south after the eight-year tenure of the incumbent Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari who is from Katsina State in the North-West geopolitical zone.
To push his agenda, Wike teamed up with four other PDP governors and formed the G5 which is made up of Wike, Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Samuel Ortom (Benue) and Seyi Makinde (Oyo).
On February 15, days to the presidential poll, Tinubu met with Wike in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, the latest of their many pre-election engagements known to the public and the governor had defended their meeting, saying he is free to receive anyone.
For the presidential election, Atiku lost in all the G5 states while Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi won Enugu and Abia, Tinubu raked in Oyo, Benue and Rivers.
Tinubu, 70, came out tops in 12 of Nigeria’s 36 states, and secured significant numbers in several other states to claim the highest number of votes — 8,794,726, almost two million votes more than his closest rival, Atiku, who got 6,984,520 votes, while Obi finished the race with 6,101,533.