Presidential aspirant and governor of Rivers state Nyesom Wike reportedly lost his spirit after Aminu Tambuwal withdrew from the presidential race to support Atiku Abubakar
According to some reports, a last-minute intervention of some stakeholders in the party worked in favour of Atiku.
Naija News had reported that the Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, stepped down for Atiku before the commencement of voting last night.
Party sources said Tambuwal withdrew from the race to support Atiku following the intervention of some elders who feared that should Wike pick the ticket, the ruling party would once again secure the presidential seat in 2023.
Before the commencement of the primary, some Northern elders had met with Atiku, Tambuwal, Bukola Saraki and Bala Mohammed. But the talks had failed as the aspirants had insisted on participating in the election.
However, the elders resumed the push at the venue of the event.
Tambuwal later gave in and withdrew from the election. Immediately, Wike’s mood changed after Tambuwal’s withdrawal
It was observed that aspirants from the South, except Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, were all seated together, just as other contenders from the North were camped together.
Governors of Rivers and Benue states, Wike and Samuel Ortom respectively were seen having conversations shortly after Tambuwal announced his withdrawal from the race. Soon, another aspirant, Ayodele Fayose, also joined in.
Wike, who was cheerful before Tambuwal’s shocking announcement, frowned throughout the exercise.
The Rivers governor looked exhausted while ballot sorting was ongoing with Atiku’s name ringing in the air.
Coming second to Atiku was Wike who polled 237 votes. Nwachukwu Anakwenze, an aspirant had pulled out of the race around 5pm to support Wike.
Former Senate President Bukola Saraki came third with 70 votes; Governor Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom) came fourth with 38 votes; Governor Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), came fifth with 20 votes; former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim came sixth with 14 votes, while Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa and Diana Oliver Tariela got one vote each.