The political climate in Rivers State is heating up as tensions rise between Siminalayi Fubara, the estranged godson of former governor Nyesom Wike, and the state’s current administration

“Let me tell you, I don’t like ingrates; I don’t like it,” Wike said in an interview he gave on Friday, revealing that he and his godson had fought.

The tough-talking ex-governor gave the impression that the fight had just begun.

They are hardly the first godfather and political son to wage a power struggle of this kind.

According to MISMOB, however, incumbent governors have historically come out on top in conflicts involving godfathers.

Willie Obiano vs. Peter Obi

Just after the election, Peter Obi and Willie Obiano had the archetypal godfather/godson clash.

In 2013, Obiano became the APGA candidate after retiring from Fidelity Bank, a bank in which Obi has a significant interest. Oseloka Obaze has already been disqualified by the party.

Both Obi and Obiano attended Christ the King College (CKC) in Onitsha, where they were classmates. Therefore, many were not surprised when Obi ran a fervent campaign throughout the state to have Obiano succeed him.

Unfortunately, Obi’s departure from APGA and subsequent joining of the PDP meant that the honeymoon phase was short-lived.

Obi has pledged to unseat his former godson during the 2017 election.

I intend to run a strong campaign in this election. Until my blood is no longer there, I shall fight. In his previous statement, he made it clear that he intended to win the election in a manner that the PDP had never managed.

While Obi was beaten, Oseloka Obaze, the PDP candidate, was also defeated.

Sako vs. Udom

Emmanuel Udom was personally selected as Godswill Akpabio’s successor as governor of Akwa-Ibom State in the run-up to the 2015 election.

Despite their promise to avoid banana peel—a potential source of conflict—the relationship did not endure long, as is typical of political partnerships.

Udom and I would not be affected by what happens in Abuja, which leads people to fight in their states, Akpabio stated in 2017 at an event in Uyo.

A year down the road, their strained relationship forced Akpabio to defect from the party and join the APC.

“I was taken aback that Emmanuel, the governor I installed from Lagos—despite not being a member of the party he ran on—could summon a global press conference to disparage me,” he declared.

Having been re-elected in 2019, Udom was able to hand over power to his chosen successor in 2023.

Akpabio has not been successful in reclaiming power in the state, despite his continuous enjoyment of national positions such as Minister and Senate President.

Theodore Orji vs. Orji Uzor Kalu

Theodore Orji was elected governor of Abia State in 2007 while incarcerated.

Orji was awaiting trial in Lagos’s Kirikiri Maximum Prisons for several counts of suspected fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering when the campaign was underway.

His godfather, Orji Uzor Kalu, ran for president on the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) ticket, which Orji ultimately won.

After serving as Kalu’s chief of staff, Theodore Orji became Kalu’s successor. Unfortunately, the romance did not endure long before the two became fiercely feuding, as is typical in political couples.

The political family of Theodore Orji managed to hang on for sixteen years till the Obidient tsunami recently washed them away.

Conversely, Kalu has been attempting to return to the state, but he has been limited to Abia North.

The case of Sullivan Chime vs. Chimaroke Nnamani

No one in the political sphere had ever seriously regarded Barr Sullivan Chime, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice of Enugu State, as a potential successor to Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani, the head of the Ebeano political family, until the 2007 general election.

Nevertheless, Nnamani stunned all the political players when he finally agreed to work with Chime, whom he viewed as extremely reserved. But the Ebeano gang was immediately banned by Chime upon his emergence as governor following the election.

Even though he was a senator, Nnamani had a hard time getting to the state because of the conflict that broke out between his political father and son. Chime, who produced Senator Gilbert Nnaji, also thwarted his 2011 attempt to return to the Senate.

Until Chime stepped down from office in 2015, the situation remained unchanged. The installation of Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as Chime’s successor was a success in 2015.

Ganduje vs. Kwankwaso

Umar Ganduje and Rabiu Kwankwaso were practically inseparable from 1999 until 2015. Ganduje served as Kwankwaso’s deputy in 2003. After they were defeated in the election, Kwankwaso was appointed Minister of Defense by Olusegun Obasanjo. Ganduje accompanied Kwankwaso to Abuja.

Ganduje was once again the deputy when Kwankwaso returned in 2011.

It was thus not surprising that Ganduje received the APC ticket in 2015. Nonetheless, their feud began soon after the election.

His predecessor, Ganduje claims, didn’t even show up to his swearing-in. The two have been involved in a cutthroat struggle for years over who gets to run the state’s political system.

During the conflict, Sanusi Lamido, the ex-Emir of Kano and a supposed ally of Kwankwaso, was deposed from power. Plus, Kwankwaso was coerced into defecting from the APC to rejoin his old friend.

After defeating their opponents in the 2023 election, Kwankwaso and his supporters have taken back control of the state’s political system. But the NNPP remains in limbo because of the pending lawsuit.

You may remember that APC candidate Nasir Gawuna was proclaimed the winner of the governorship election after the Election Petition Tribunal and the Appeal Court removed NNPP leader Yusuf Abba from office.

Oshiomhole vs. Godwin sets out to

Godwin Obaseki succeeded Adams Oshiomhole as governor of Edo State after Oshiomhole championed a difficult political battle.

While Oshiomhole was Edo State Economic Team Chairman, Obaseki was his deputy.

Their conflict was intense despite their bond. During the APC primaries, Oshiomhole, who was the party’s national chairman, used his power to disqualify Obaseki. But Obaseki switched to the PDP and was able to secure his re-election.

As a result of his ward’s suspension, Oshiomhole also lost his position as national chairman during the conflict.

Oshiomhole is still important in Edo North, but Obaseki has the upper hand in state politics.

Dear Sir/Madam,

Former governor Aliyu Wamakko supported Aminu Tambuwal for governor of Sokoto State during the 2015 APC tsunami.

Wamakko, who had previously battled Attahiru Bafarawa for control of the state’s political machinery, had already planned to become the state’s de facto godfather.

Former House Speaker Tambuwal, on the other hand, had different plans. After some back-and-forth, the former Speaker rejoined the PDP.

Tambuwal was re-elected to a second term in office in 2019 after narrowly winning the poll. Nevertheless, Wamakko was able to maintain control of the state after his party, the PDP, lost the 2023 governorship election.

Ambode vs. Tinubu

Bola Tinubu, the political godfather of Lagos state, nominated Akinwunmi Ambode to run for governor in 2015.

By 2015, Mr. Tinubu had spread his political influence across the whole South-west region and even the country.

The relationship between Tinubu and his godson appeared to be going swimmingly for almost three years. However, Ambode’s fortunes turned around in the weeks leading up to the primary election. The superstructure in Lagos was too strong for his little resistance.

When Ambode lost the primaries to Babajide Sanwo-Olu, he discreetly stepped down from the political scene.

An unusual situation involving a godfather unseating a sitting governor occurred in Lagos State.

Ayade vs. Imoke

In the 2014 PDP primary election, Ben Ayade had the support of former governor Liyel Imoke, who was running against other candidates for governor.

Imoke helped propel Ayade to the position of governor in Cross Rivers State. In a similar twist, though, Ayade tried to increase his clout within the party, which led to their breakup.

Ayade switched political parties and joined the APC after a long feud with the PDP.

Sakume vs. Suswan;

It is widely thought that George Akume, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, had a significant impact in the election of each and every governor of Benue State since 2007.

In 2007, Akume supported Gabriel Suswan for the position of vice president; however, a rift between the two caused Akume to defect from the PDP and join the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).

When the SGF backed Samuel Ortom in 2015, he got his due.

Hyacinth Alia became governor in 2023, and Ortom was unable to perfect his succession plan as he later resigned from the APC.

Ibori and Okowa

Since 1999, the political structure of the state was controlled by James Ibori, a former prisoner.

After a long battle, his godson, Ifeanyi Okowa, managed to break his hold on the state.

In May 2022, during the primary election, Okowa supported Sheriff Oborevwori, who was the speaker of the Delta House of Assembly at the time, while Ibori sided with David Edevbie.

Okowa was able to emerge victorious despite a humiliating loss in the presidential race. During Atiku Abubakar’s campaign, the former governor of Delta State served as his running mate.

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