BusinessDay
NigeriaDecides2023

Atiku/Wike: We must close ranks to ensure success in 2023 – Jibrin

…crisis stalls inauguration of Atiku campaign c’ttee

As the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) prepares for the reconciliatory meeting of its presidential flag bearer, Atiku Abubakar, and Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, the chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT), Walid Jibrin has appealed to the warring groups to sheathe their sword and work for the party’s success.

The appeal is coming ahead of the reconciliatory meeting between Atiku Abubakar and Nyesom Wike, slated for Friday.

BusinessDay gathered on Thursday that the meeting had suffered setbacks over a disagreement on the venue. Both sides had nominated seven representatives each, with Adamawa governor, Ahmadu Fintri heading Atiku Abubakar’s team, while former minister of information, Jerry Gana heads Nyesom Wike’s team.

The crisis within the party, BusinessDay gathered, is stalling plans to form Atiku Abubakar’s presidential campaign council.

It was also learnt that the party has proposed that Wike be appointed to head the campaign council as the director-general (DG), ahead of the September 29 flag-off presidential campaign as approved by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Read also: Atiku Abubakar applauds Supreme Court; judgement on Electoral Act

It is, however, not clear if Wike will accept the offer.

A source close to the party told BusinessDay in Abuja that while Atiku’s team is more disposed to holding the meeting in Abuja, Wike is, however, insisting on having it in Port Harcourt, in Rivers State capital.

“The meeting can be held in Abuja because we do not expect that either Atiku Abubakar or Nyesom Wike should attend the meeting. They have nominated their representatives and we believe that they have the mandate of their bosses”

“We are certain that all the issues will be resolved soon,” our source said.

But the party’s BoT has appealed to party members to “put the success of the party ahead of personnel gains,” adding that “they must remain calm, not create bad blood and confusion in our party because efforts are ongoing to reconcile every aggrieved person”

Jibrin also assured that the party was working hard to reconcile “Wike and the presidential candidate, Atiku,” adding that “what is happening now should never be categorised as a problem but misunderstanding within the party”.

“At this period leading to the 2023 elections, we should concentrate on how to win all positions to be contested and seriously adhere to the provision of the party constitution.

“My strong advice is for us to give strong support to the present reconciliation committee set up to resolve all issues.”