Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State on Wednesday disclosed that the decision to support Bola Ahmed Tinubu for presidency in the February 25 election made the Southsouth State close to the Federal Government.
Recall that Tinubu, candidate of the All Progressives congress (APC), triumphed over the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and his Labour Party (LP) counterpart, Peter Obi, during the election.
Moreover, Rivers State, despite being led by a PDP government, contributed to Tinubu’s victory.
While at a meeting with 48 APC support groups and PDP governorship candiadate, Siminialaye Fubara, in Port Harcourt, the State capital, Wike said the State had suffered great neglect by the centre in the last eight years, adding that Tinubu’s victory has brought hope.
The Integrity Group leader, represented by the State PDP chairman, Desmond Akawo, said: “Rivers State is reconnected again to the Federal Government. Within the last eight years, it has been a war.
“Rivers State has been at loggerheads with the Federal Government and we said, no, this war cannot continue. So, for us in Rivers, he (Wike) has reconnected us back to the mainstream of governance in this country.”
Wike who reiterated that the Party wanted power to return to Southern Nigeria in the spirit of equity and fairness, added that zoning should be replicated in Rivers State.
His words: “We supported Asiwaju so that power can return to the South. Whether Asiwaju or Peter Obi, for us, the next president must be a Southerner in the spirit of equity.
“So, in that same spirit of equity, Rivers State, having elected a governor from Rivers West through Peter Odili, Rivers East through Rotimi Ameachi and Wike, we said power should go to Rivers Southeast and to riverine parts of Rivers Southeast, since all the governors have been from the upland.
“So, in the next 72hours, Rivers State will elect the youngest governor in Nigeria, in the person of Sim Fubara, for a better succession plan. Lagos State is succeeding because it has a better succession plan, from Asiwaju to Babatunde Fashola to the incumbent governor of Lagos State. Sim is a man who understands Rivers State.”
The leader of APC in Rivers State and Coordinator of the Tinubu/Fubara Support Groups, Tony Okocha, said the APC support groups will vote for Fubara, to reciprocate Wike’s support for Tinubu during the presidential poll.
He added: “On the 25th of February while some APC members were working against our presidential candidate, the PDP in Rivers State supported Asiwaju. So, we have come to pay back because one good turn deserves another. So, on March 18, we will be coming out in our numbers to reciprpcate his kind gesture by voting PDP candidtae, Sim Fubara, as governor of Rivers State.
“In Rivers State, we want to chart a new course as a vanguard, and that new course is that we will be voting PDP candidtae, Sim Fubara, as governor of Rivers State.”