A leader in the All Progressives Congress (APC) of Rivers State, Augustine Wokocha has publicly dismissed requests for former governor, Nyesom Wike, to switch sides and head the state’s opposition party.
Just a day earlier, Tony Okocha, the former Chief of Staff in Rivers State Government House, proposed at a news conference in Port Harcourt that Wike should join and lead the APC amidst rumours of a possible defection from the Peoples Democratic Party.
However, Wokocha, the former Commissioner for Power and Coordinator of the disbanded Tinubu/Shettima Grassroot Independent Campaign Council in Rivers State, argues that Wike is not suitable to helm the opposition party.
Speaking to the press in Port Harcourt on Friday, Wokocha challenged Okocha’s assertion that Wike single-handedly secured the state for APC’s Bola Tinubu in the previous general election and hence should be rewarded.
Wokocha argues that this credit is misplaced, stating, “The victory of Bola Tinubu in the last election in Rivers State cannot be given to one individual. It is a combination of the over 200,000 votes from Rivers who supported the man who is our President today.”
He further questioned Wike’s direct involvement, saying, “I can’t remember any forum when he referred to the candidate of our party. He did not direct his people to vote for him, to my knowledge. So I don’t know what Okocha means by Wike immensely contributing to Tinubu’s Victory.”
Wokocha believes that it’s crucial to thank the people of Rivers and those who campaigned to convince voters that Tinubu was a superior candidate.
Although Wokocha is not against Wike joining the APC, he affirms that the party is not in search of a leader.
He underlines, “Candidly speaking politics is the more the merrier. So Wike coming to the APC is a welcome development.”
However, he takes issue with the notion of Wike taking control of the party, calling it an aberration.
He reminded listeners of Wike’s past criticism of the APC, stating, “It was the same Wike who said APC is cancer stage four and the PDP is malaria. But he is welcome if he has suddenly realized that our cancer is better than malaria he is suffering from.”
Wokocha asserts that it would be a disservice to Rivers State citizens if Wike were to lead the APC there.
According to him, the APC has adequate leadership, including Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and himself.
Finally, while appreciating the work done by President Bola Tinubu, Wokocha insisted, “But nobody should take credit that is not his own and take claims that are not theirs. We won’t allow such misleading of our people.”