Why PDP Has Not Sanctioned Wike, Other G5 Governors Despite Anti-Atiku Comments, Party Chieftain Reveals

Why PDP Has Not Sanctioned Wike, Other G5 Governors Despite Anti-Atiku Comments, Party Chieftain Reveals

Ahead of the 2023 general election, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is battling an internal crisis that appears to have defied solutions.

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In an exclusive interview with Legit.ng, Anthony Ehilebo, a PDP Presidential Campaign Council member, spoke on how the party will deal with the crisis, among other issues.

Atiku/G5 governors/PDP crisis/2023 presidential election/Wike/Peter Obi/Kwankwaso
G5 Governors have refused to work for PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar as the party's crisis lingers. Photo credits: Atiku Abubakar, Gov Nyesom Ezenwo Wike - CON
Source: Facebook

Five PDP governors, better known as G5 governors, pulled out of Atiku’s campaign after the party’s leadership turned down their demand for Iyorchia Ayu’s resignation as the PDP national chairman.

The governors said Ayu, a northerner, should resign for a southerner to take over since the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar is also from the north.

Though they said they are not leaving the party, the G5 governors are speaking against Atiku and Ayu and aggressively demarketing the main opposition party.

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A few weeks ago, Rivers governor Nyesom Wike who is believed to be the leader of the camp, even openly snubbed his party’s governorship candidate in Lagos state and endorsed All Progressives Congress (APC)’s candidate, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu who is seeking re-election for a second term.

Wike also recently pledged to provide logistics support for Peter Obi, Labour Party presidential candidate, whenever he visits Rivers state for his campaigns.

Why PDP has not sanctioned Wike, others

Asked why the PDP had not taken any action against Wike and other G5 governors despite engaging in what is termed anti-party activities in Nigerian political lingo, Ehilebo said, “perhaps” the opposition party’s “dispute resolution mechanism in operation is why these applicable sanctions have not been brought against the mentioned individuals.”

Asked if Atiku can win the 2023 presidential election without the support of the G5 governors, Ehilebo said:

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“That question in time will answer itself, as I believe, with exception of Wike, all the others have a direct personal stake in the 2023 election and will soon see the fruititious nature of our belief that the PDP is the only party in Nigeria that has A-rated dispute resolution mechanisms.”

Does Atiku need Kwankwaso and Peter Obi to win in 2023?

In August, popular political commentator, Deji Adeyanju, predicted APC flag bearer Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to emerge winner of the 2023 presidential election.

Adeyanju said the current division in the PDP would hand Tinubu the victory.

According to the convener of Concerned Nigeria, the PDP has been divided into four: Atikulated, Obedients, Kwankwasiya and Controversy Branch: Pro Wike.

The presidential candidates of the New Nigeria People's Party (NNPP) and the Labour Party, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and Peter Obi, both defected from the PDP.

To win the 2023 presidential election, does Atiku need Kwankwaso to secure the needed winning votes in the north?

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Ehilebo responds:

“Even with the posture of Kwankwaso, it is clear he will at some point pause to reflect on his best chance moving forward either as a man who understands the tide of times or one who sees himself above the collective will of his people.”

Like Adeyanju, Fitch Solutions Country Risk and Industry Research recently predicted Atiku’s loss due to Peter Obi’s growing popularity which was projected to split the opposition votes at the expense of the PDP.

However, the PDP chieftain Ehilebo disagreed with the predictions.

In his response, he aligned with the recent d*amning article by Anambra governor Charles Soludo where he said Obi himself knows he cannot win in 2023.

“The best answer to this question (by Legit.ng) was given by the person best suited to give a response,” Ehilebo said.

To better understand the PDP chieftain’s response, here is what Soludo, who is Obi’s successor as Anambra governor, said:

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“Let’s be clear: Peter Obi knows that he can’t and won’t win. He knows the game he is playing, and we know too; and he knows that we know. The game he is playing is the main reason he didn’t return to APGA. The brutal truth (and some will say, God forbid) is that there are two persons/parties seriously contesting for president: the rest is exciting drama!

Ehilebo also played down the polls that predicted Obi would win in 2023.

Asked if he was worried that some surveys had predicted victory for Obi and Tinubu while none predicted Atiku’s win, the PDP Presidential Campaign Council member told Legit.ng:

“For anyone who believes he has a mass of the population of young people, it is best to leave them to their devices as the actual voters who are young in the North are not as vocal as those in the South where Obi is fairly popular.

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“The February 2023 election will serve as a light post to properly evaluate the Nigerian reality.”

Ehilebo’s response echoes that of Fitch’s report, which stated that “surveys showing that Obi is ahead of his opponents, Bola Tinubu (APC) and Atiku Abubakar (PDP), were mostly based on responses gathered online.”

The report, citing 2020 World Bank data, said the surveys predicting Obi’s win were skewed because only 36 per cent of Nigerians use the internet (where Obi has huge traction).

Why I am personally backing Atiku to win in 2023, Ehilebo reveals

One of the major arguments by Atiku’s opponents is that the former vice president should have opted out of the race (after five attempts) and allowed the PDP to field a southerner (just like the APC did) in line with the rotation principle.

Beyond his official duty to campaign for Atiku, Legit.ng asked Ehilebo, a southerner, why he personally believes Atiku should succeed President Buhari in 2023.

“As a southern young man supporting Atiku, I am proud of his achievements and commitment to the ideals of a restructured and power-devolved Nigeria which I believe is the key to our plan to Recover Nigeria,” he said.

Source: Legit.ng

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