Immediate-past Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike has said President Bola Tinubu needs smooth take-off for the stability required for development.
Wike accused those opposed to the zoning of the senate presidency to the South-South geopolitical zone, of deliberately laying a stumbling block for President Ahmed Bola Tinubu in the National Assembly (NASS).
He said anybody who wants the Tinubu-led government to succeed, will not hesitate to support a South-South candidate for the next Senate president.
Wike spoke yesterday during a media parley at his private residence in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
The former governor said, “There is something going on in the country now about the Senate presidency and the House leadership and everybody knows my position. My position is that the (senate) presidency should come to the South-South. We are not talking about the presidency of the country now, we are done with that.
“If you agree that (senate) presidency should go to the south, tell me the truth; where should it go? It can’t be in the South-West. It can’t be in the South-East. South-South has only produced one senate president, far back in 1979, Joseph Wayas. South-East has produced over seven.”
He stated that those who were averse to Tinubu’s presidential ambition were still hellbent on laying stumbling blocks for him at the National Assembly, through their opposition to his preferred choice of former Akwa Ibom State governor, Senator Godswill Akpabio as the next senate president.
Wike said, “The party (All Progressives Congress) and the president appear to have a soft spot for Akpabio. I would have thought that people will say; look, allow this administration to start on a very good foundation.”
so nobody gives us excuses that why this administration could not start on good footing is because of the rancour between the executive and the legislature.”
The former governor maintained that if there is no cordial relationship between the leadership of the national assembly and the presidency, the country will be distracted by the unnecessary power conflict between the executive and the legislative branches of government.
He said, “If Mr President doesn’t have a smooth administration, at the end of the day, who suffers? Is it not Nigerians? Let us believe that we are all one, let us give everyone a sense of belonging.”
Wike disclosed that President Tinubu and the APC national leadership preference for Akpabio, who is a Christian, is part of a deliberate strategy aimed at dispersing the misconception generated by the choice of former Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima, a Muslim, as the president’s running mate.