THERE was a mild political drama at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Rivers State on Saturday as President Goodluck Jonathan openly embraced Governor Rotimi Amaechi and shunned the team brought by Minister of State, Education, Nyesom Wike.
Jonathan was on his way to Abuja.
Wike, Amaechi’s Chief of Staff from 2007 to 2011, has been strategising to control the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The plan of Wike, who was recommended to Jonathan as minister by Amaechi in 2011, is to use his structure and his control of the party as a platform to succeed Amaechi in 2015.
It is generally believed that the friction between Jonathan and Amaechi on the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) election is traceable to the plot to control the party structure in Rivers State and the 2015 presidential election.
When Jonathan arrived the airport around noon in a presidential helicopter enroute Abuja from Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, he embraced Amaechi and members of the Rivers State Executive Council and clearly shunned members of a factional state PDP exco led by Wike.
The drama started when he alighted from the helicopter.
He shook hands with Amaechi, the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Chris Oboh, some members of the PDP loyal to Amaechi and a couple of others, ignoring Wike’s loyalists who stood close to the helicopter.
Jonathan then moved to where Amaechi’s commissioners and special advisers were standing to greet them.
After, Jonathan and Amaechi moved away to discuss for a few minutes. Wike was seen following them but Jonathan didn’t discuss with him.
After his discussion with Amaechi, he boarded the presidential jet to Abuja.