Wike, Atiku, other governors settle rift, vow to remain in PDP
Peace seems to have come the way of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike and other aggrieved state governors and party chieftains have agreed to remain in the party, work for the success of its flag bearer in the 2023 presidential election Atiku Abubakar and resolve all internal crisis within the party
This resolution followed a closed-door emergency meeting held at the Rivers State governor’s lodge in Abuja on Sunday.
While the agenda of the meeting was not immediately clear, BusinessDay gathered that it centered on the festering post-presidential primary crisis which has seen the party divided into two major camps.
Those at the meeting include Governors Nyesom Wike of Rivers state, Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, Samuel Ortom of Benue State, and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State
Others are Donald Duke, former governor of Cross River state, Gabriel Suswam, of Benue state, Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo state, Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa state., Ibrahim Idris of Kogi State, and Jonah Jang of plateau state.
Philip Aduda, Senate minority leader was also at the meeting with some members of the PDP National Assembly caucus.
A member of the party’s national working committee who spoke on condition of anonymity told reporters that none of the servicing or former governors were leaving the party as was being rumoured.
He said all the party chieftains resolved to work together to address whatever internal crisis exists and support the party and the candidates towards victory in 2023 elections.
Wike had few days ago accused Atiku Abubakar of telling lies against him.
He also described some of the party’s chieftains as Atiku’s ‘attack dogs.’
Wilke’s face-off with Atiku began when the later emerged flagbearer of the PDP for the 2023 presidential election.
Atiku defeated Wike in the primaries and a PDP committee reportedly nominated Wike as the presidential candidate’s running mate, but Atiku settled for Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State.
In an interview with ARISE TV, Atiku said he did not pick Wike as his running mate because he wanted someone he could work with “amicably”.
“Governor Wike was not rejected. Nobody was rejected in the party. But you must understand that it’s the prerogative of the candidate to pick his running mate — a running mate he believes he can work with amicably, and then also deliver the policies of the party, and also try to unify the country.
“Governor Wike is a brilliant politician. He’s courageous, tenacious. I believe he has a future in the political evolution of this country. It’s not a question of rejection. Certainly, not. I think it’s too harsh a word to say that we rejected governor Wike,” Atiku said.
In a response to Atiku’s interview, Wike tweeted that Nigerians would know the truth about recent events in the party when he finally speaks.
But speaking with reporters on his return from Spain on Friday, Wike accused Atiku of lying against him.
Wike’s statement on Friday was his first public comments on the crisis that trailed Atiku’s refusal to select him as his running mate.
“I have decided to be quiet because PDP is a party I love so much. I have moved on to conclude my social contract with the people of Rivers. However, it is time to let Nigerians know the truth.
“I am not a slave and will not be a slave. I am freeborn of the country,” he said.
Wike also faulted Atiku’s speech on the day he unveiled Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as his running mate.
He accused the former vice president of telling lies against him.