- Amid the ongoing crisis plaguing the Peoples Democratic Party, its flag bearer Atiku Abubakar has issued a strong declaration ahead of the 2023 polls
- Sources revealed that Atiku Abubakar will not be entertaining any form of negotiations or concessions on office sharing
- However, it was gathered that Atiku who will be returning from his vacation will be leading a delegation of PDP elders to appeal to Governor Nyesom Wike not to leave the party
All efforts to convince Governor Nyesom Wike not to defect from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are still on the card.
A report by the The Nation newspaper confirmed that PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar will lead a team to help settle the ongoing rift in the party after his return from the United Arab Emirates where he is currently on vacation.
It will be recalled that the ongoing crisis was a result of Atiku selecting Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state as his running mate over Governor Wike.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng gathered that the party’s BoT chairman, Senator Walid Jibrin, reached out to Governor Wike not to leave the party heading into the 2023 presidential polls.
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In an attempt to help douse the tension surrounding the possible exit of Governor Wike, Jibrin called on Atiku, Okowa and the national chairman of PDP, Iyorcha Ayu to visit Wike and reach a peaceful resolution with him.
He further suggested the company of former ministers, representatives of party elders from six zones and selected BoT members to constitute the peaceful resolution team to see Wike.
Up on the heels of the crisis, ex-Ekiti state governor, Ayodele Fayose and Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom have publicly vented their displeasure over the snub of Wike as the vice-presidential candidate of the PDP.
Governor Ortom revealed that a committee was set up by Atiku to recommend a running mate for the party’s flag bearer.
Ortom said the committee later settled for Governor Nyesom Wike as the vice-presidential candidate of the party, a recommendation Atiku shunned.
Okowa’s emergence as VP candidate just another of the many crises – Sources reveal
Meanwhile, a top source revealed that the emergence of Governor Okowa as the vice-presidential candidate of the party was not the only reason for the ongoing rift within the party.
It was gathered that demand for concessions was another major issue in the party among the big wigs of the party but the emergence of Okowa further escalated the whole crisis.
Prior to the announcement of Okowa as the vice-presidential candidate of the party, the source said a meeting was held between Wike, Okowa and Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom.
The source said the detail of the meeting was that Atiku appealed to the trio that whoever he picks was in the best interest of the party and Nigeria. It was gathered that the trio agreed to this peace accord.
Okowa as Atiku’s running mate is in a way a fulfilment of Igbo quest for presidency by Phrank Shaibu
According to the source, Atiku and his team were shocked that Wike reneged on the gentleman agreement by sticking to the recommendation of the search panel.
However, the source further revealed that Atiku will not be entertaining any form of negotiations with individuals or groups.
The source said:
“Our candidate has ruled out making concessions to anybody or group before the elections. You don’t push the cart before the horse.
“Some supporters of Wike and a few past and serving governors have been making some demands which are too early to consider or accept.
“The preoccupation of Atiku now is how to keep the party united ahead of the 2023 poll.”
PDP faces mass defection as Wike’s loyalists fume
In another related development, loyalists of Governor Nyesom Wike is on the verge of exiting the PDP.
This move will however take effect if Governor Wike himself decides to exit the party for another party.
It was gathered that the aggrieved loyalists of Governor Wike are not pleased with the way the Atiku Abubakar snubbed Wike for the VP slot.
In Delta, PDP stalwart dumps party, joins APC
Meanwhile, a PDP stalwart in Delta state, Godsday Orubebe has joined the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC).
It was gathered that Orubebe on Friday, July 1 made the shock announcement in the Burutu local government area of Delta state.