PDP Crisis: Why Governor Makinde is the Potential Biggest Loser in Wike's Camp

PDP Crisis: Why Governor Makinde is the Potential Biggest Loser in Wike's Camp

“When elephants fight, the grass gets trampled,” goes the African proverb. In the crisis currently rocking the PDP, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state may end up being the “grass” that gets "trampled".

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The two elephants, even political neophytes know, are former VP Atiku Abubakar and Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state.

Seyi Makinde/Wike/Atiku/PDP Crisis/2023 Elections
Joining forces with Wike may hurt Governor Makinde's second term bid in 2023. Photo credit: Seyi Makinde
Source: Facebook

Since Atiku’s emergence as the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, the opposition party has known no peace.

Wike, who came second in the primaries, is at the centre of the crisis. He accused the PDP national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, of compromising the outcome of the primaries by siding with Atiku, amid other grievances.

Meanwhile, Atiku who also had a chance to calm Wike’s nerves by making him his running mate snubbed the Rivers governor and went for Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state.

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Many PDP stakeholders, including Governor Samuel Ortom, who were involved in the process of selecting Atiku’s running mate reportedly wanted Wike but Atiku decided otherwise.

PDP crisis: Atiku versus Wike camps

Then, all hell broke loose. The party became polarised; divided mainly into two camps: the Atiku and the Wike camps.

Members of the Atiku camp include Atiku himself, PDP national chairman Ayu, Governors Aminu Tambuwal, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri and the majority of the party's bigwigs.

In the Wike camp are:

  • Governor Seyi Makinde
  • Governor Samuel Ortom
  • Governor Okezie Ikpeazu
  • Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi
  • Plateau ex-governor, Jonah Jang
  • Gombe ex-governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo
  • Ekiti ex-governor, Ayo Fayose
  • Ondo ex-governor, Olusegun Mimiko
  • Cross River ex-governor, Donald Duke
  • Chief Bode George
  • Chief Dan Orbih
  • Mohammed Adoke, etc

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Wike camp's condition: Ayu must go

After several reconciliatory moves, the Wike camp came up with their major condition: Ayu must resign.

They anchored their arguments on the principle of inclusion, justice and fairness.

Since Atiku, the party’s presidential candidate is from the north, the national chairman should be from the south.

However, the Atiku camp refused to yield to their demand: Ayu said he won’t go and Atiku said he can’t force him.

The former VP also argued that the Wike camp’s demand cannot be met without amending the party’s Constitution, a clear indication he was not ready to accede to their demand.

As the negotiations hit the brick wall, the Wike camp withdrew from Atiku’s campaign.

Though Wike and his allies said they will remain in the PDP, there are strong speculations that they may work for an opposition candidate: APC’s Bola Tinubu or Labour Party’s Peter Obi.

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If they decide to go this route, Governor Makinde of Oyo state runs the risk of being the biggest loser. Here are why:

The only first-term governor in Wike’s camp

Among all the serving governors in Wike’s camp, it’s only Governor Makinde who is just completing his first term and is seeking re-election in 2023.

This means he has so much to lose if the camp’s plotting does not go as planned.

If the Oyo state governor does not handle the situation well, the crisis in the opposition PDP may cost him his second term bid.

For instance, it was gathered that Wike and the other governors wanted Tinubu, the APC flag bearer, to guarantee them that the PDP would win the gubernatorial election in their respective states in 2023 in exchange for their support.

However, this may not end well for the Wike camp. A brief reference to history is important here.

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In 2003, governors on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) decided to work for the PDP’s President Olusegun Obasanjo and made some demands from him which he agreed to.

The move, however, ended up being what is now termed a political tsunami as Obasanjo did not only fool the governors but also ensured they were not re-elected.

Only Tinubu who did not enter into the agreement with the other AD governors survived the tsunami.

Thus, working for Tinubu after extracting demands from him cannot guarantee Makinde’s victory in 2023.

Losing relevance as southwest PDP leader

When Atiku visited Ibadan recently, Makinde told him that the southwest PDP wanted Ayu gone.

However, the party’s chapters in Ogun, Osun and Ondo states disagreed with him and declared their support for Ayu and Atiku.

Being the only current PDP governor in the southwest (Ademola Adeleke of Osun is yet to be sworn in), Governor Makinde’s words in the southwest PDP are supposed to carry heavyweights.

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However, three out of the six states in the southwest have openly disagreed with his stance on the PDP crisis.


Since the inception of the PDP crisis, Governor Makinde has spent a considerable amount of time outside the country plotting with Wike and others instead of not only focusing on governance but also appeasing the aggrieved PDP members in the state.

Due to the unresolved PDP crisis in Oyo state, some party leaders have defected to the NNPP while Governor Makinde seems to be concerned with fighting what appears to be Wike's battle.

All these may come back to hurt the Oyo governor in 2023.

Atiku reportedly makes irresistible promise to Wike

Meanwhile, a new report has indicated that Atiku has promised to support the presidential ambition of Governor Wike of Rivers state fully in 2027.

The PDP presidential candidate allegedly made the promise to Wike when they met in Abuja to discuss ways the growing crisis between the party can be resolved.

Sources privy to what transpired between both PDP big wigs said Atiku, however, put a condition to supporting Wike in 2027.

Source: Legit.ng

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