A former National Welfare Secretary of the APC, Kabir Masari, has confirmed that the party’s presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, met with the Governor of River State, Nyesom Wike of Rivers State in London.
Mr Masari, who was the the placeholder for APC vice presidential position, said the meeting was fruitful.
Mr Wike, who was a contestant in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential primary and lost to a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has been at loggerheads with his party’s presidential candidate over the choice of his running mate.
He previously met with top APC members including the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, Aliyu Wamakko, the governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, as well as his Ondo and Lagos counterparts, Rotimi Akeredolu, and Babajide Sanwo-Olu, among others.
In an interview with BBC Hausa, Mr Masari said the former Governor of Lagos State met Mr Wike as part of the 2023 calculations.
“Yes, it’s true they (Messrs Tinubu and Wike) met and they would continue to meet by God’s grace. The meeting was connected to the 2023 general elections and we now know His Excellency Nyesom Wike is going to work for us (Tinubu’s team) and we would win easily,” he said.
He said the Rivers Governor didn’t need to join the APC before he can help the party to succeed in the presidential contest.
“Well, I can’t say whether he would defect to APC or not but he doesn’t need to decamp to APC to work for us. You know Wike is a big-time politician, a sitting governor with control of his state and even other States because of his style of leadership and the good understanding he has with people and other politicians,” he said.
When reminded that the PDP has also reached out to Mr Wike to settle their rift, Mr Masari said he couldn’t predict the future but the meeting with Messrs Tinubu and Wike was “fruitful.”
“I don’t know what would happen in the near future but from what we’ve seen and know so far, the meeting was fruitful. We will work with him and he would be useful to us… Don’t forget that it was APC that caused the failure of APC in Bauchi, it was members of the party that led to the defeat of the Governor from their own party. In Adamawa too. So what I want people to understand, someone can still assist you even without joining your party if he wants to,” he said.
We’re ready to work with Amaechi
Mr Masari also said the party and Tinubu’s campaign team would work with the immediate former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who is Mr Wike’s predecessor and arch-rival.
He said the decision to reach out to Mr Wike was not an attempt to spite Mr Amaechi.
“No, no. Amaechi is a top-party member. One of the most important party members. We’re ready to work with him and any other person from the state (Rivers) for the success of the party. We don’t have any problem with him (Amaechi) because he is a member of our party,” he said.
He added that aside from Mr Wike, Tinubu’s team is also reaching out to other state governors from the opposition party.
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