2023: How PDP May Go Into Election With Divided House
The crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seems to be deepening and it looks like the main opposition party will go into the 2023 general elections with a divided house.
The lovers of the party have expressed concern over the deepening crisis including the Board of Trustless (BoT) of the party, led by its chairman, Senator Walid Jibrin recently expressed concern over the lingering crisis rocking the party.
According to the board, the presidential primary election, where Atiku Abubakar emerged as the party’s flag bearer and the appointment of Ifeanyi Okowa as vice presidential candidate is unnecessarily causing confusion among party members.
Senator Walid Jibrin, issued a press statement where he assured members that plans are on ground to bring all members together as one united family.
“What is happening in PDP can never be compared with the situation in All Progressives Congress (APC), especially their plans in trying to bring religious issues of Muslim-Muslim president and vice president.
“I have also noticed that some groups are coming up, trying to solve the issues of Okowa as vice president.
“Interestingly the BoT, the highest advisory body and the conscience of the party will meet in August to discuss the issues accordingly, by coming up with strong recommendations with the special committee.
“After the BoT meeting, we will meet with Wike and all aggrieved members and all past presidential aspirants. It is my prayer as the chairman of the BoT that the PDP will remain strong and win all elections in 2023,” Jibrin added.
Meanwhile, there are strong indications that Governor Nyesom Wike’s group has tabled their conditions for reconciliation.
Recall that some governors of the party and other stakeholders, who coordinated Wike’s presidential campaign, met in Abuja at the Rivers State Governor’s Lodge to chat a way forward for the party.
Wike and his campaign coordinators were meeting for the first time since the presidential primaries took place in Abuja on May 28th and 29th.
Speaking briefly after the closed door meeting of Wike and the governors that lasted for several hours, a member of the PDP Board of Trustees and North Central Coordinator of the Wike Presidential Campaign, Prof. Jerry Gana, said, “This is the first meeting we are holding with all our candidates in the states after the primaries.
“We are united as one. We know that developments will unfold and when they do, we shall brief Nigerians.”
A source at the meeting, who also spoke with Daily Independent said, “Members only reviewed what transpired during the primary and what our next line of action should be since no one has deemed it fit to sit down with our principal and discuss like genuine party men should.”
It was, however, gathered that members of Wike’s group are insisting that before reconciliation can take place, their conditions must be met.
It was also gathered that apart from playing a serious role in the presidential campaign coming up in September and other benefits if Atiku eventually wins the 2023 election, another condition been tabled by the group is that the national chairman of the party, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, must go.
Wike, who is insisting on immediate resignation of the National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, maintained that he would put a stop to the plot to undermine his close allies, like the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom; former Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose and others.
He was said to have fumed when information reached him that Senator Ayu was allegedly planning to use his position as national chairman to undermine the likes of Fayose, Ortom and others in their various States.
However on his return from his trip abroad few days ago, Wike insisted that the presidential flag bearer of his party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar lied against him and he was going to respond at the appropriate time
He said, “After the PDP presidential primaries I decided to keep quiet because I love PDP so much. I decided to focus on fulfilling the promises that I made to Rivers State people. It is not in doubt that I will speak and let Nigerians know the truth and whatever they decide to do with it, is left for them.
“There is no right thinking member of the PDP, and a lover of the party, that will say that the speech that the presidential candidate of our party made when he was unveiling his running mate was fair,” Wike said.
According to Wike, he didn’t react because he reasoned that the party belongs to all of them. “He came on the Arise Television and told lies. If I were dead, people would believe those lies and if I didn’t react, they would be assumed to be true. Look at his backers, Sule Lamidi, Babangida Aliyu and Maina Waziri, look at the statements that they made,” Wike said.
He added, “I must make sure that I react line by line, statement by statement to the comments. There is nobody who loves me that will advise me not to react. Look at a presidential candidate who believes that he wants to win the election, look at someone who contested an election fiercely with you and you had to make those comments.
“I just minded my business on how to move my state forward. Every day they are raining abuses on me, that is not fair. I must react and let Nigerians know the truth, at the appropriate time, after the commission of the projects that we lined up.
“Nigerians will know what happened and also know those who love this country. It has nothing to do with PDP, it is only to put the records straight. It doesn’t matter those that are involved. I am not a slave, I am a free born of this nation,” he said.
A close ally of the Rivers State Governor noted that even though the governor is not against dialogue, he will not have any one-on-one meeting with the PDP Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
According to Wike’s ally, who preferred anonymity confirmed that Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, Governor Ortom, Fayose, former Governor of Gombe, Ibrahim Dankwambo and former Governor of Cross River, Donald Duke have been named as members of Governor Wike’s strategy team.
“The strategy team will be responsible for holding talks with Atiku and his men.
“Also, the Governor is insisting that Ayu must step down from his position as national chairman since the party has picked its presidential candidate from the North.
“Wike is of the opinion that the North cannot have both the presidential candidate of the PDP and national chairman at the same time.
“He is also watching events in some State chapters of the party, especially where his allies are involved. He told some of his men yesterday that should anything be done to undermine the interest of his allies because of their support for him, even his team will no longer be available for any peace talks.
“For instance, look at what they did in Ekiti during the governorship election. Look at how those at Wadata abandoned the party in Ekiti just because of Fayose’s support for Governor Wike. He (Wike) has said that he will no longer sit back and allow any of his allies to be undermined under any guise,” he said.
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has said that his Rivers State counterpart, Nyesom Wike, would remain in the PDP despite the treatment he received from Atiku Abubakar, pointing out that he, Wike, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, and others would remain in the party.
He made this known, while speaking on Arise TV, a few days ago, and stressed that he had a meeting with Wike, Makinde and Abia State governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, in the United Kingdom, recently, where they agreed they would not leave the party.
Ortom, who had faulted Atiku’s decision for snubbing Wike, said he and his aggrieved colleagues have agreed to remain in PDP.
He, however, called on the former Vice President to reach out to Wike for reconciliation, adding that it is not too late to resolve the crisis in the party.
He said: “One thing I want to assure Nigerians is that we are not going to defect to any political party. Wike, in particular, has been very instrumental to the growth of our party in the absence of any former President produced by our dear party.
“Former President Olusegun Obasanjo that was produced by this party retired, former President Goodluck Jonathan that was produced by this party has issues and decided not to get involved in what is happening in the party.
“So, Wike was the anchor man. Let there be due process and the needful done to ensure that everybody is carried along. (Daily Independent)