The Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike has denied his interest in running for the position of president in 2023, shortly after campaign posters pointing to his run were seen across the Federal Capital Territory.
Earlier on Monday, campaign posters with photos of Mr. Wike were sighted on buildings along Herbert Macaulay Way, a central axis of the commercial Wuse suburb.
The posters read: “Rescue Nigeria 2023 from insecurity, poverty, bandits, killing”.
Mr. Wike’s information commissioner Paulinus Nsirim swiftly debunked the posters in a statement, saying his principal would not be distracted from his core duties of serving Rivers people.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Governor Wike has not informed anyone that he is interested in the presidency of this country,” Mr. Nsirim said. “This is certainly the handiwork of mischief makers threatened by the Governor’s rising political profile.”
Mr. Wike’s denial, however, may not necessarily preclude him from running for presidency in 2023, when he is expected to complete his two terms as Rivers governor. Nigerian politicians have a reputation of silently sponsoring posters to test their public appeal ahead of party primaries and conventions.