Rivers: Alignment of former political foes with Wike, Fubara ruffles feathers

Wike, Jackrich Tein and Abe in Abuja

Wike, Jackrich Tein and Abe in Abuja

By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

The recent surprise solidarity visits of the duo of Rivers billionaire industrialist and President of Belema Oil, Mr Tein Jackrich, and the former governorship candidate of Social Democratic Party, SDP, Senator Magnus Abe to Nyesom Wike, the Minister for Federal Capital at his Abuja residence is ruffling political feathers in Rivers State.

Abe had excitedly in a terse post on his Facebook page said his visit to Wike in his residence in Abuja resulted in a strategic outcome which he however did not reveal

“Had a fabulous time with my brothers the Hon Minister of the FCT His Excellency Barr Nyesom Wike, and Tien Jackrich, Founder and CEO of the Belema oil.

“We sure had a great conversation and we are proud of the Minister’s spectacular contributions to the infrastructural development of the FCT.”

Interestingly, the three political bigwigs are loyalists to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Our correspondent reports that amidst the political fallout between Governor Siminalayi Fubara and Wike, there have been ongoing political realignments with old political foes mending fences in Rivers.

Abe emerged the governorship candidate of Rivers SDP in 2023 after he dumped the All Progressives Congress, APC. As the candidate of an opposition party, he was at daggers drawn politically with Wike who as the outgoing governor deployed all arsenals in his disposal to ensure the election of Fubara, the candidate of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as his successor.

However in a swift dramatic turn of events, Abe recently said he has reconciled with Wike. This was after he announced his return to the APC.

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Abe stated that his decision to return to APC was to support the Tony Okocha as the Rivers State Caretaker Chairman of the party whose tenure was recently extended for six by the National Working Committee, NWC of the party.

The former governorship candidate said decided to return to APC to end the conflict within the party.

So far, Abe has continued to pour encomiums on Okocha, a loyalist of Wike over what he described as his approach to resolving the conflict in Rivers APC, saying he was direct, truthful, and sincere.

Political observers are anxiously waiting to see how realignments of the old political foes will affect Fubara’s administration.

But other political bigwigs of PDP who have fallen out with Wike have also realigned with Governor Fubara.

The political bigwigs now in the camp of Fubara include former Governor Dr Peter Odili and his wife, Justice Mary Odili retired Judge of the Supreme Court, Austin Opara, former deputy Speaker House of Representatives, Dr. Abiye Sekibo former Minister for Transportation, Senator Lee Maeba, Tele Ikuru, a former Deputy Governor, Prince Uche Secondus, former national Chairman PDP, Sir Celestine Omehia, Dr. Tamuno Sisi Gogo Jaja, former Rivers Commissioner of Water Resources and Senator Azuta Mbata.

However, Wike also has on his side all serving Senators of PDP, all members of House of Representatives, except one, 27 Lawmakers in Rivers State House of Assembly 21 out of the 23 outgoing local government Chairmen in the State and most of the councillors among others.

Indeed, Wike is in firm control of the structures APC and PDP in Rivers as the executive members of both parties in the state are his loyalists.

Wike has also been able to influence federal appointments for some of his loyalists who found their ways back to his political fold.

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