There is a new hope of an early end to the crisis rocking the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after several months of heated “war” amongst the major stakeholders in the party.
The crisis, which is a fallout of the Presidential primary, had seen the Rivers State Governor and PDP Presidential aspirant, Nyesom Wike, turn his back on the party, taking four other governors with him.
The G5 as they are now called gave fresh hope for reconciliation during their visit to Bauchi, as part of a solidarity move to strengthen Governor Bala Mohammed’s re-election bid.
While addressing newsmen after the visit, the leader of the G5 and Rivers State Governor, Wike expressed optimism for reconciliation.
The statement was a sharp contradiction from their earlier stand, not to have anything to do with the party’s Presidential campaigns until the removal of the National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu.
The cheering news was reinforced by revelations that former President Goodluck Jonathan has been drafted to resolve the crisis.
Former Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam who described the crisis as “a family affair,” revealed that Jonathan has been drafted to resolve the issues.
“Jonathan has been dragged into the issue to resolve the matter. Solving this problem between the G-5 governors is what we should be looking at. When Wike inaugurated the election council in Rivers State, all the governors were there; they were also there when Ortom inaugurated the same in Benue State; this shows that they still love the party,” he said.
Although Jonathan had served in several capacities using the party’s platform, the former President had remained a distant observer in the party’s affairs, since he left office
“PDP has the capacity and internal mechanisms to resolve the party; this is why we are bringing in Jonathan to help resolve the matter.
“Jonathan has been dragged into the issue to resolve the matter. Solving this problem is what we should be looking at. They still love their party at heart.
“Wike had said he is open to reconciliation, Ortom said some of his comments were misinterpreted,” Suswan said.
The G-5 governors led by Wike have been aggrieved with the leadership of PDP following the emergence of Atiku Abubakar as the party’s presidential candidate.
They are agitating for balance and equity within the leadership of the party. The Wike-led group had insisted that the party’s National Chairman and presidential candidate can’t come from the same region.
It is however, not immediately clear, whether the party’s National Chairman has shifted ground as he insists that his four-year tenure will not be truncated midway.
The Party’s National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, while speaking with BusinessDay Sunday on the issue, assured Nigerians that the party will come “out stronger and better organised.”
According to him, “We have consistently told Nigerians that reconciliation is not a 100 meter race, it is a marathon and we have never doubted that we will enter into the 2023 elections as one united family
“Wike remains a strong member of our party, so also are all the other Governors you have mentioned. They will remain with us to save Nigeria and Nigerians from the evil that the ruling APC government has foisted on us all.”
In a similar vein, the PDP presidential candidate and former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar in his reaction, said he “welcomes reports that the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike and his group are favourably disposed to the resolution of the issues with the PDP candidate.
Atiku Abubakar also expressed his commitment to a negotiation that will resolve the crisis of confidence and pave the way for a much stronger and united PDP.
The former Vice President of Nigeria, in a statement by Paul Ibe, his media adviser, stated that never at any time of the differences that has ensued has the doors been shut to Governor Wike and his group.
He enjoined every leader of the party and their supporters irrespective of their leanings to be open-minded and support the process of resolution of the extant issues.
Also speaking at the unveiling of Recovery Nigeria message, Atiku reaffirmed his commitment to women, youth empowerment, saying that 2023 election will be a referendum on the failures of APC.
Atiku assured that his administration will increase empowerment for women if elected president in the general election next year.
The PDP presidential flag-bearer made this commitment on Friday during the unveiling of the strategic communications brand of his presidential campaign in Abuja.
Atiku recalled serving as chairman of the economic council at a time when the GDP of the country growing from the military was just about 0.6percent and that by the time they were leaving they had taken the GDP to 8percent.
The event, which was attended by a number of campaign officials, as well as members from the private sector of the Abuja business community and the Vice Presidential candidate and the Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, was the unveiling of the ‘Recovery Nigeria’ messaging of the PDP presidential campaign.
Atiku, while responding to questions from the audience at the event remarked that, “if we are serious about increased prosperity, then we must increase empowerment of women.”
He further said that the Recovery Nigeria message must be taken to the women and youths.
“If we are to recover Nigeria from its current mess that the APC has put us through, then we must begin that recovery from the demography that is most hit by the failure of the APC, which are the women and youth.
“The records are there to compare the performance of the PDP and the APC and the upcoming election should be a referendum on the performance of the APC.
“Nigerians have had a taste of the two parties, and I am not saying this for myself, but we should be proud of the records that the PDP offered,” Atiku said.
The Director of Strategic Communications for the PDP Presidential Campaign Council, Dele Momodu, in his remarks, said that the Recovery Nigeria messaging is a reflection of the current pains that the country is passing through.
“Many of our young ones we need to go forth out there and educate them, many politicians that are coming around us they lied to us they want to make everything looks easy, it is not exactly easy but we need a man with experience ready to work with the young ones ready to work with the women, and particularly together with all Nigerians to take us out of where we are to recover us and take us on the right path.
“Nigeria currently is going through hard times. We have taken time to evaluate the challenges facing the country and the plan to rescue and restore Nigeria by the PDP. That evaluation gave birth to our Recovery Nigeria messaging, because it includes not just the diagnostics of where we are, but the prescriptions of the antidotes to the challenges,” Momodu said.