by Alexander O. Onukwue
Disclaimer: Both never actually declared an intention to be on a ticket, they just happened to be on one owing to the similarity of their character.
In terms of a Presidential bid, Wike-Fayose is a definite impossibility in Nigeria, and will be dead on arrival, both being from the South and also Christians. Those ethnic and religious factors will continue to play so-called balancing roles in the polity of the nation, even as we become more ‘woke’ and progressive.
Governors Nyesom Wike and Ayo Fayose are known for being the most scathing in their criticisms of the Buhari administration. Swinging often from the crude to the cruel, both men have been instrumental in ensuring that the leftover strands of the PDP from the exertions of 2015 survived long enough to stay relevant today. Governor Wike has refused to get off the back of the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, even as calculations have begun in that state for the 2019 race. Meanwhile, Fayose’s concerns are closer with elections to come in 2018.
However, both have not quite been on the same level of hostility to Buhari in the last couple of weeks. While Fayose was outspoken in support of the #ResumeorResign protests, threatening to release pictures, Wike was mostly on the low. When Buhari finally returned, Fayose claimed glory in bringing about an end to the President’s 103 day stay in London, but nothing along those lines was heard from Port Harcourt.
Wike was at the National Azikiwe Airport to welcome President Buhari last Saturday; pictures showed him looking like that very grateful child on his first trip to see Father Christmas. It did not look theatrical or pre-arranged to send a particular message, but if it did and Wike agreed to play that role, it makes the point more readily.
Then, Governor Wike was at that impromptu meeting which Governor Fayose could not have abandoned his other engagements for. Both men seem to have come some way from being allies united in taunting the ruling party and the country’s President.