Nyesom Wike, the former Governor of Rivers State and current Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, didn’t hold back during his recent interview on Channels TV when he shared his blunt assessment of the presidential election and the supporters of Peter Obi, the Labour Party presidential candidate. Wike, a prominent figure in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), openly threw his support behind Bola Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, and actively campaigned for him in Rivers State.
“I knew that he [Obi] won’t win the election. Let me tell you the truth, I am a realist,” Wike declared. “For me, the way the election went, it was a tough election. I give it to INEC.”
Wike’s remarks followed the recent decision by the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, which upheld Bola Tinubu’s victory in the February 2023 presidential election. While Peter Obi, a former Governor of Anambra State, had garnered support as a candidate representing promise and change, Wike asserted that some of his supporters lacked a deep understanding of the intricate dynamics of Nigerian politics.
Wike pointed out that while young people might have been enthusiastic about Peter Obi’s candidacy, viewing him as a symbol of generational change, they might have underestimated the enduring influence of factors like ethnicity and religion in Nigerian politics. “They didn’t take into cognizance that ethnicity is a factor. They didn’t take into cognizance that religion is a factor, not only competence; that is the reality of Nigerian politics,” Wike emphasized.
Nigerian politics has always been a complex and multifaceted arena, where various factors, including regional affiliations, religious sentiments, and personal connections, often play pivotal roles in shaping electoral outcomes. Wike’s assessment serves as a stark reminder of the intricate nature of Nigerian politics, where perceptions of competence may not be the sole determinant of success.
As Nigeria continues to navigate its political landscape, the lessons from this election provide a valuable perspective on the need for a comprehensive understanding of the country’s diverse and intricate political dynamics.
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