Confusion over Wike’s fate in cabinet
•Fears minister may have resigned
Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike is back in the news following speculations yesterday that he had resigned from the Federal Executive Council.
One report suggested that he was quitting the cabinet to enable him concentrate on his governorship aspiration in Rivers State where he is currently locked in a bitter political stand-off with Governor Rotimi Amaechi, his erstwhile boss.
Other sources said the minister decided to resign having failed to earn the confidence of President Goodluck Jonathan to be confirmed as Minister of Education after serving as supervising minister of the ministry for almost one year.
Former Kano State governor, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau was sworn in as the Education minister on Wednesday and immediately proceeded to end the 11 month strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) which Wike had failed to resolve.
It was also gathered that the Presidency had come to the conclusion that Wike’s political value even in Rivers State was exaggerated and could not be trusted to fly the PDP party in next year’s governorship election.
The Presidency is now said to be considering Senator George Thompson Sekibo as the party’s governorship candidate in the state.
Wike, according to sources in Port Harcourt, is weighing the option of realizsing his ambition on the platform of another party, possibly the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
He was recently adopted by stakeholders across the 23 LGAs of Rivers State as the governorship candidate of the PDP.
Until recently, he regularly addressed rallies in the state ostensibly to mobilise support t for the re-election of President Jonathan.
The minister could not be reached yesterday for comments.
His spokesman, Simeon Nwakaudu neither picked calls to his two lines nor responded to text messages sent to him.
Two allies of the minister Emeka Woke, the Director-General of Rivers PDP and Samuel Nwanosike, the Rivers Publicity Secretary of the PDP, who doubles as the Secretary-General of the GDI could also not be reached.
Nwanosike had said in a previous telephone interview that Wike was being begged by Rivers people to vie as governor next year.
At the height of his confrontation with Governor Amaechi in April last year, Wike’s four supporters in the State House of Assembly sparked a bloody row on the floor of the legislature.
The police subsequently shut the House.
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