As it seeks to regain the power it cataclysmically lost in 2015, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike is proving a particularly tough nut for the Peoples Democratic Party to crack.
A whirlwind from Rivers State.
Since he shot into national consciousness as a political big wig in Rivers State, former Chiarman of Obi-Akpor Local Government Area, former Chief of Staff to the Rivers State Government, and former Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike has never ceased to seize public imagination.
Colourful and combative, the loquacious lawyer who is in his second term as the Rivers State Governor has been a key member of the Peoples Democratic Party for years now and reportedly one of its chief financiers.
At the national level, he played a key role in the later years of the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. Even when the then incumbent president slumped to defeat in the 2015 elections, Wike won handily to become the Governor of Rivers State.
It has been a rollercoaster ever since. Ever confrontational and ever at hand with a criticism or two for those who would disagree with him, he has always sought to present himself not just as someone who takes his oath to the people of Rivers State most seriously, but as someone who wants Nigeria to work as a country.
His seemingly fearless public style has won him as many friends as foes with many unsure of the suitability of his combustible character to the high office he occupies as Governor of Rivers State and the one he aspires to as the President or Vice President of Nigeria.
A sore loser
In the PDP presidential primaries held towards the tail-end of May, Wike considered himself a formidable contender until some of his fellow contestants for the ticket threw in the towel.Former Nigeria Vice President Abubakar Atiku handily won the primaries.
While Wike was initially congratulatory and even conciliatory after the conduct of the elections, he has since thrown up a mighty tantrum. This may not be unconnected with the fact that in going for the Ifeanyi Okowa, the Delta State Governor, as his running mate, Atiku Abubakar overlooked Wike. Since then, with the All Progressives Congress and the Labour Party sniffing, it appears that all efforts to close rank have failed
A nail in the coffin
When sometime last month, some ranking members of the All Progressives Congress in a classic display of the odious opportunism the party is known for, paid a much publicized visit to Wike, tongues began to wag.
The details of the visit were never made public but with Wike doing his best to put the Peoples Democratic Party in disarray,it is no rocket science to divine that the APC stalwarts went to fuel the raging fire and maybe invite Wike to work with them.
If Nigerian politicians are alike in anything other than incompetence, it is in opportunism. They it is who have perfected the art of reaping where they did not sow.
If politics has always been about self-interest, then have taken it to previously unseen levels. With nothing even faintly resembling an ideology, they float from party to party leaving their supporters too stunned to react.
With his combustible temperament, not a few Nigerians are aghast even at the mere possibility of Wike becoming President or Vice President .
For the PDP, the headache is one that may just crack its skull ahead of crucial elections next year.