The name of Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, has been withdrawn on the list of the national campaign council of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the November 11 governorship election.
Wike, who served his two terms as governor under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), was appointed minister by President Bola Tinubu whom he worked for in the February election.
The list of yet to be inaugurated Campaign teams released to newsmen on Tuesday was signed by the National Organising Secretary of the party, Suleiman Mohammed Argungu.
Few hours after the list went viral, the ruling party was condemned for including a member of the opposition on its list.
APC Chairman in Bayelsa, Barr Dennis Otiotio, could not be reached for comments as he failed to answer several calls put across to him, a chieftain of the party in the state who spoke on condition of anonymity, described the development as acceptable.
In a post via X, formally Twitter, one Faisal Jibrin, wrote: “Wonders shall never end”
@Arabadmeek: “The only Nigerian ever to belong to two National parties at the same time.”
@spirit124: “Birds of the same feathers not surprised.”
Hours after the backlash, the ruling party issued a disclaimer, asking party faithful and Nigerians to disregard the list.
“The attention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been drawn to National Campaign Council Lists for the 11th November 2023 Governorship Elections in Bayelsa, Kogi and Imo States in circulation in sections of the media. The lists are not official documents of the Party and should be disregarded,” the statement signed by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Felix Morka, reads in part.
The list on the Campaign team on Bayelsa which Morka claimed was not the official document from the party has
Gombe State Governor, Inuwa Yahaya as Chairman of the Bayelsa State National Campaign Council with three other chieftains of the party as co-chairmen. The list includes Senate President, Godswill Akpabio; former Jigawa State Governor and Minister of Defence, Abubakar Badaru; and Secretary to Government of the Federation, George Akume.
Last month, speculation of Wike dumping the PDP was rife as his name emerged on the list of ministerial nominees sent to the Senate for screening.
Shortly after his clearance and announcement of his FCT portfolio, the two-term Rivers State governor had claimed that his nomination as Minister-designate enjoyed the blessing of the PDP national leadership.
Wike, in his maiden media briefing as FCT Minister, declared that he got the approval of the PDP acting national chairman, Iliya Damagum, to serve in Tinubu’s cabinet.
He said: “They said they’ll sanction me that I took an appointment, that’s ridiculous. The president wrote to all the 36 state governors to bring names of people to appoint. Didn’t PDP governors submit names?
“Every PDP governor wrote a letter and nominated 10 persons for appointment in this (Tinubu’s) government.
“Before this appointment came, I wrote to the national party chairman, minority leader of the House of Representatives and Senate, zonal chairman of the party, my state chairman, and my governor. All of them wrote to me back: ‘Accept it’. I have it documented.”