Wike Pledges Cooperation With APC – Ganduje

By Damilare Adeleye

National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Ganduje, has said the former Rivers governor, Nyesom Wike, is ready to cooperate with the ruling party without necessarily joining the party.

He said this while boasting of the increasing fortunes of his party, saying discussions are on to get some opposition political parties to collapse into the APC.

Ganduje made this known on Wednesday while giving an insight into the visit of minister-designate and former Rivers state Governor, Nyesom Wike to his residence on Tuesday.

Asked whether Wike would be joining the APC as a minister in the President Bola Tinubu-led APC administration, Ganduje said; “You know Wike is an honourable Minister-designate, so, he came that we discussed because I was looking for him to congratulate him for that and also he came to congratulate me and we discussed that when he becomes minister fully, he will work very hard in order to move the ministry he is giving forward and he is ready to cooperate.

“But we didn’t discuss the issue of his coming to APC or not coming to APC. That issue will arise later”.

On his inaugural pledge to expand the membership base of the party, and whether having Wike could boost such chances, he said; “It will certainly improve the chances of this our party, especially in 2027 and not only that we are coming out with a new blueprint to increase the followership of the party and this will include all strata of officials; those who are in APC and those who are in other political parties. I assure you, very soon, some of the political parties will even merge with the APC. We are doing that underground”.

Ganduje also added that the nomination of Wike as minister was done in the spirit of national competence and not an attempt to enthrone a one-party system.

“The spirit of national unity does not mean the spirit of one party in Nigeria. Spirit of national unity means spirit of national competence”, he stated.

Also speaking, a former Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong who was at the APC national secretariat on Wednesday described Ganduje as a very experienced politician and expressed confidence that relevant stakeholders, especially state governors would work with him to succeed.

He said; “The national chairman was a Governor. As a matter of fact, when we look at his antecedents, we always say he is the longest experienced politician that we have within us because he is somebody who was very long in the Civil Service, he became Permanent Secretary, Commissioner, longest serving Deputy Governor and then became Governor. So, with this kind of experience what else do you need in party matters?

“We have confidence in him as he is now here and it is not an issue of one man, anytime he has opportunity he does a lot consultations and we are always available. His colleagues who were Governors with him are always available for this kind of work. That is why we are rallying around to give him every help so that the party can also succeed.”