What We Learnt from Nyesom Wike’s London Tour

August 30, 2022

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State is undoubtedly the hottest political bride in Nigeria right now. 

Since his presidential ambition crashed after losing the ticket of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to Atiku Abubakar in May 2022, Wike hasn’t allowed anyone a moment’s rest. He’s been sleeping and waking like this:

No one doubts Wike’s political weight and the kind of influence he can have on the direction of votes for the 2023 presidential elections. The man himself knows this and has been lording it over everyone.

On August 25th, 2022, Wike kicked the drama up a notch with an eventful trip to London from which we learnt quite a few lessons.

Wike is a hot kek

On his London trip, Wike met Atiku in what many PDP operators would hope is the end of his theatrics. But he also met with the candidates of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, and Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi. That’s the kind of reverence top presidential candidates usually reserve for OG former Nigerian leaders like Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Babangida, Yakubu Gowon and Abdulsalami Abubakar.

It’s a testament to how much everyone understands Wike’s outsized influence and wants him to pitch his tent with them.

Obi is (most likely) Obasanjo’s candidate

Obasanjo has been shy about publicly endorsing any of the candidates for the 2023 presidential election, but it’s almost impossible that he won’t do it at some point. 

And the former president appeared to show his hand on Wike’s tour by participating in the governor’s meeting with Peter Obi. Since his dramatic exit from the PDP, Obasanjo has taken a liking to popular anti-incumbent candidates — Buhari in 2015, Atiku in 2019, and now Obi in 2023. 

Time will tell where he throws his hat but it seems he’s leaning towards Obidience.

Governance is on autopilot, sorry to Nigerians

There were at least five current state governors in London with Wike and Tinubu attending to political business that has nothing to do with the people who elected them into power. 

Governors Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Samuel Ortom (Benue) and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) all followed Wike on his London tour. Crowd Controller Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos) and Governor Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) were also part of Tinubu’s team for the meeting with Wike.

These governors have less than a year to the end of their current terms and aren’t too invested in governance anymore, but the politics that prolong their stay in power. 

The only people that suffer are the ones who gave them a taste of power to begin with.

Wike is Captain Nigeria

On their return from London, of course, the actors tried to spin the trip as some holy trip they took in the interest of Nigerians. Ikpeazu called the trip a “rescue” mission for Nigeria and Ortom said they’re “looking at the larger picture”.

Wike also said all the trouble isn’t about him or his group but in the service of Nigerians. And if you believe all of that, we have a profitable Nigerian oil refinery to sell you.

There’ll be more meetings

If you think meetings in London would be enough to calm Wike’s blood and get him to fall in bed with one candidate, then think again. The London tour is only one phase of his consultation and he’s not done. There are more meetings to follow for the most in-demand political bride in the country. Everyone will have to wait to see who Wike walks down the aisle with for the 2023 elections.

Hopefully, he brings his merry band.

Wouldn’t you like to read a newsletter that helps you dig into all the good, bad and extremely bizarre things happening in Nigeria and why they’re important to you? Then you should sign up for Game of Votes.

ALSO READ: What We Learned From the PVC Registration Drive Now That It’s Over

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