Where Was Atiku in 2015? PDP Faces Mass Defection as Wike's Loyalists Fume, Reveal their Next Action

Where Was Atiku in 2015? PDP Faces Mass Defection as Wike's Loyalists Fume, Reveal their Next Action

  • The opposition PDP is sliding into a huge internal crisis that may tear it apart and jeopardise its chances of taking over the presidency from the ruling APC in 2023
  • Many loyalists of Governor Nyesom Wike have reportedly resolved to follow him if he dumps the PDP for any other party
  • The loyalists of the Rivers state governor are unhappy with way the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku, rejected their principal and picked Okowa as running mate

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, loyalists of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state are threatening to dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

A report by The Punch indicates that Wike's loyalists, among them some prominent lawmakers, were unhappy with the way Atiku snubbed the Rivers state governor and picked Ifeanyi Okowa, governor of Rivers, as his running mate.

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2023: Why Wike Rejected PDP Vice Presidential Ticket, Influential Northern Chieftain Gives Reason

Atiku Abubakar/Nyesom Wike/2023 Elections/PDP
Loyalists of Governor Wike are threatening to dump the PDP over Atiku's choice of running mate. Photo credit: Atiku Abubakar
Source: Twitter

Atiku had opted for Okowa despite the recommendation of a 17-man selection committee that nominated Wike.

Since Okowa's nomination as Atiku's running mate, Governor Wike has not issued any statement regarding the development.

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Wike's unusual silence, coupled with his recent meetings with presidential candidates from the opposition parties, has reportedly unsettled the PDP.

The crisis became obvious when the governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom, expressed sympathy with Wike and said he was yet to decide whether to support Atiku or not. Former Ekiti governor, Ayo Fayose, followed suit with a renewed agitation for southern presidency.

Meanwhile, a member of the House from Rivers state, who spoke to The Punch on the condition of anonymity, said Wike’s loyalists would follow the governor should he decide to defect from the PDP to another party.

Read also

2023: Wike defect to APC? PDP opens up after Rivers Governor meets with strong APC leaders

Where was Atiku in 2015? Lawmaker asks

A member of the House of Representatives from Rivers, Solomon Bob, said Wike deserved to be treated better.

According to him, it would be an understatement to say that Wike had contributed to the PDP more than any other person.

His words:

“Those who are making claims now to the man’s labour, where were they? Where was Atiku? Atiku ran away. In 2015, he ditched the party and went to the APC because he did not want (the then President Goodluck) Jonathan to continue (with a second term in the PDP)."

He said Atiku committed a serious blunder with the way he rejected Wike and opted for Okowa as running mate.

Wike deserves more, another lawmaker says

In his submission, another Rivers lawmaker, Dagomie Abiante, described Wike as an asset to the PDP, which Atiku failed to realise and utilise.

He stated that the governor “deserved much more” than the VP slot, adding that he is better than Okowa “in every respect.”

Read also

2023: Why Wike can’t be vice presidential candidate to anyone, top PDP chieftain gives reason

“He has been a pillar to the party; he is the one speaking for the party and he speaks for the interests of the South. Okowa hosted southern governors across party lines," Abiante said.

Atiku replies Ortom, Fayose, reveals next plan ahead of 2023 election

Meanwhile, Atiku has reacted to the statements made by Governor Ortom of Benue state and former Ekiti state Governor Fayose over his choice of running mate.

The PDP presidential candidate said the party would remain united and focused ahead of the 2023 elections, adding that "appropriate actions have been taken, are being taken, and will continue to be advanced."

"The Peoples Democratic Party will remain united. Focus on our actions. We are taking action to address the feelings of all party members. The unity in our community is my priority. Our resolve to unify Nigeria starts in our party and moves to the community, then on to society," he wrote.

Source: Legit.ng

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