- The call by Governor Nyesom Wike and his loyalists for the resignation of the PDP national chairman seems not to be getting the attention it needed Atiku Abubakar seems to have moved past that train
- While the Iyorchia Ayu seems unbothered and is moving fast to the task ahead for the party in next year's election, Wike has continued his romance with other leaders of the opposition parties
- In fact, the Rivers governor invited some of the PDP's enemies into his state for project inauguration, a move Ayu, Atiku did not seem affected with
There are concerns at different quarters, especially among members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on why Governor Nyesom Wike remains untouchable despite his recent activities and comments about the PDP that appears to be directly working against the party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
Legit.ng recalls that Wike is one of the five governors of the party who are not comfortable with the state of things in the party and have requested the sack of the party's National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu.
The five governors who call themselves the G-5 or the integrity group have alleged that there is a total absence of equity and justice in the party considering that both the party's National Chairman and the presidential candidate are from the north.
The other governors are Benue's Samuel Ortom, Seyi Makinde of Oyo, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State.
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PDP failed reconciliation
Despite efforts by the PDP to end the ongoing crisis, the situation remains the same. Both the integrity group and the PDP have failed to come to terms on Ayu. While Atiku and the PDP believe sacking Ayu at this auspicious time will be another spoiler, the integrity group believes the only solution to the current crisis is to sack Ayu as the party's national chairman.
In their recent meeting which held at the Lagos home of Chief Bode George and attended by others including Olusegun Mimiko, former governor of Ondo, Ayo Fayose, former governor of Ekiti, and Donald Duke, former governor of Cross River, the group insisted that Ayu's removal is the only path to the resolution of the conflict tearing PDP apart.
The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that while addressing newsmen after the meeting, Jonah Jang, a former governor of Plateau State, said the group is still insisting on Ayu's removal as national chairman of the party.
On the reconciliation, Jang said the window was still open for genuine reconciliation.
“After a careful review of developments in our party, we have decided to stand on the decisions we took in our Port- Harcourt meeting,” Jang was quoted to have said.
Integrity group not interested in reconciliation
But sources told Legit.ng that the group's disclosure that it was waiting and opened for genuine reconciliation appears like a fluke. He said:
"From the meeting, all the party leaders concluded that it was now too late to continue to hope for reconciliation as Atiku Abubakar has lost the election before the election.
"The G-5 group and other supporters believe that Atiku's foot-dragging has already cost the party the 2023 opportunity of snatching leadership away from the APC.
"So their statement that they are still open to genuine reconciliation is only political. They said so just to avoid being suspended by the PDP. They are doing everything humanly possible to ensure they have a legal backing when PDP suspends any of their members or all of them, " the source who pleaded anonymity said.
Asked why PDP has refused to suspend Wike and others, the source said the G-5 governors are very strategic in their approach. According to him, there is nothing the governors and their supporters have said that demands their suspension from the party.
"First, these are very strong politicians. The party is careful not to throw the baby and the bath away. Even the party recognizes that their demands are genuine. The only difference is the time these demands are coming. This is the eleventh hour to the 2023 election, else sacking Ayu would have been easy. Also, for the fact that the party understands that the demands were coming because Wike lost to Atiku in what many of them saw as a northern conspiracy, the party believes that even if Ayu is sacked, these governors will still not support Atiku.
"What they are also trying to avoid by not suspending them is to carefully avoid any kind of litigation that can be used against the party by the opposition in case Atiku wins the 2023 election."
Recall that Ortom and Wike had at different times reiterated that Peter Obi of the Labour Party was the man for the job.
According to them, people like Obi deserve the position and not leaders who have no track record.
Peter Obi best candidate - Ortom
During Obi's visit to Makurdi, Ortom had hailed him in what appeared like an endorsement. According to the Benue State Governor:
“If Nigeria needs to make a choice, you are one of the finest candidates that we have in this country. In terms of education, in terms of character, in terms of performance, in terms of reaching out, in terms of being a pan-Nigerian, in terms of industrialization, and passion to ensure that our country is liberated from where we are; out of insecurity to security, and out of economic woes to economic vibrancy and out of lack to adequate social life, you have the capacity to make things work.”
Wike makes endorsement statement on Peter Obi
Similarly, Wike had not only attacked Atiku on many occasions, but had openly hailed and supported the candidates of the other parties, including Peter Obi and Kwankwaso.
Atiku, Tinubu or Obi? Former governor reveals presidential candidate Nigerians should campaign, vote for
The Rivers governor while hailing both Obi and Kwankwaso for their integrity, said he was willing to support them during their campaigns in the state. According to Wike, during their rallies in the state, he will be available for any logistics support and other requests from them.
Despite the open support for the opposition parties, sources say PDP is not considering suspending the governors because of the backlash that will follow. Besides, the party may not be able to come out of it even if it wins the 2023 election.
What Wike really wants - Eric
But a PDP youth leader and a member of the Atiku support group, Eric Ekwere said the burden is rather on the G-5 governors who are mostly seeking a return to various officers.
He said the PDP has refused to suspend the integrity group because that's what they wanted the party to do.
According to him:
"PDP can not suspend them because they want to be suspended so they will claim that they wanted to work for the party but were suspended.
" Let them remain in the party and work against the party. No one cares about them. You can see that no one is saying anything about them anymore.
"What Wike wants is for the party to suspend him so he can say he was pushed out. We don't want to give him any reason for an excuse. The pressure is more on him right now.
"We can see that Wike's problem is not Ayu. Wike's problem is Atiku. It has become clear that he believes he should have won the primary that produced Atiku."
It remains to be seen if PDP will take a major decision on the demands and the position of Wike and his allies, just as it is not clear yet how this crisis will affect the PDP going into next year's election.
PDP Crisis: Wike, other G5 governors have no issue with Atiku, party chieftain drops bombshell, gives reason
PDP crisis: Wike, G5 governors releases fresh update for Atiku, other party leaders
Members of the G5 governors elected under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other aggrieved leaders of the opposition party have said that they are still open to reconciliation with the presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
The aggrieved PDP members agreed that there is a need to resolve the crisis within the party in preparation for the forthcoming 2023 election.
Speaking after a closed-door meeting, a former governor of Plateau state, Jonah Jang said the group of aggrieved PDP members who have tagged themselves as Integrity Group had not closed its doors on reconciling with Atiku.