2023 goes down to the wire as Wike announces his presidential candidate in January, urges supporters to join lucky candidate’s campaign

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has raised political temperature as he declared that he would make his preferred presidential candidate known in January 2023.

The governor, who stated this on Thursday, said he would also campaign for his adopted candidate nationwide.

With Wike’s declaration in January, the presidential race will certainly be down to the wire.

Whoever he endorses, Nigerians will haven’t wait till the end of the election to see if his endorsement is consequential enough to swing the pendulum of victory to the lucky candidate.

“From January next year, I will campaign to my people whom they will vote for,” Wike said when he inaugurated the tenth flyover by his administration in the Obio-Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers.

“So, all of you who have been in suspense, who have been saying all kinds of things, abusing me, wait. January is here.

“Not only will I tell them (my people) whom to vote, I will move from state to state (for campaigns) and why they should vote for the person, nothing will happen,” he said.

Following the PDP presidential primary in May where he lost out, Wike has been at loggerheads with Atiku Abubakar over the chairmanship of Iyorchia Ayu.

After the presidential primary, Atiku, a former Vice President, stung Wike when he passed over his closest rival at the primary and chose Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa as his running mate.

Wike, with four other PDP governors known as the G5 or the Integrity Group,  has insisted that Benue-born Ayu must step down for a southerner as a precondition to support the 2023 ambition of Atiku.

Earlier in December, the Director General of Atiku’s Campaign, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State visited one of Wike’s ally and a G5 member, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State in a move to resolve the crisis but no success was achieved.

Later the same day, Atiku, on Channels Television’s The People’s Townhall, said he had met Wike five times to resolve the issue but there is no end in sight. Ortom and Wike subsequently shunned Atiku who was in Benue earlier this month for campaigns.

Last month, Wike promised logistics support for the campaigns of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi; and his New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) counterpart, Rabiu Kwankwaso.

Wike has also in recent times hobnobbed with All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwarts like Adams Oshiomhole and Governors Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), and Ben Ayade (Cross River).

While Wike and his allies have not been seen to campaign for Atiku, it is not clear whether they will support Obi, Kwankwaso or APC’s Bola Tinubu in the contest for Aso Rock’s top job.

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