Stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State have expressed reservations over the nomination of former Governor Nyesom Wike as minister.
The chieftains said he was never a contributor to the growth of the party.
A statement signed by the APC Publicity Secretary in Rivers State, Darlington Nwauju said the formation and growth of the party took painstaking efforts of several loyal members, some of whom lost their lives in the struggle to ensure a solid party structure in the state.
Nwauju argued that it was unfair to reward a man who piloted affairs when the party faced a lot of onslaughts in the state.
According to him, APC’s growth has been organically steady since 2015 that the party came into being.
He said APC leaders in the state, who deemed it necessary to speak so as to set the records straight, maintained that the party surpassed its votes of 2015 during the 2019 elections, when Wike was governor on the ticket of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He stressed that APC experienced natural, internal growth over time, and because of the efforts of party, technocrats in the state it narrowed and eventually surpassed the lead that PDP had since 2015.
“Our growth patterns have been consistent since the 2015 presidential onslaught against Rivers APC.
‘’Our growth from 2015 to 2019 was 23.8 percent, closing the huge gap of 2015 presidential election.
“Then the 2023 presidential election came in with additional 80,881 votes in favour of APC in Rivers State.
“The question is, where is the helping hand of former Governor Wike, can he claim to have helped Rivers APC with only 80,881 votes, when our growth showed organic growth since 2019?”
The group further asked those singing Wike’s song that he helped Rivers APC, where the 1,487,075 votes he carried in 2015 in favour of PDP out of the 2,537,590 registered voters in Rivers were.
They also asked where the 472,971 votes Wike got for PDP in 2019 presidential election out of the 3,215,273 registered voters in Rivers State were.
“Can a nonparty man takeover a national ruling party in a state, simply because they claim to have helped the national party in his state with just 80,881 votes when such claims couldn’t be substantiated with empirical data?
“Such is the calamitous quagmire Wike, and his sponsored detractors have caused to their political dynasty.
“There is evidence to prove that Wike did not work for APC, he lost his polling unit and lost his ward.
“When he found that his political career was gone, he decided to pitch his tent with APC, just to have a comfort zone to rob APC in Rivers State.”
Nwauju further cleared the air that the difference between APC performance between 2015 and 2019 was 82,000 votes. The same difference between 2019 and 2023 is 80,000 votes.
“None of his so called PDP members worked for us. Some secretly for Labour Party and others did for PDP in their respective polling units.
“These efforts are projected to result in the complete takeover of the state by the APC in 2027,” they stated.
The party leaders, therefore, expressed optimism that with the combined efforts of party technocrats in Rivers, along with the able leadership of President Bola Tinubu, there would be significant progress in the nation’s growth.