In an effort to address the problem with the governor of Rivers State, Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, met with Nyesom Wike on Thursday in London.
According to information obtained by The PUNCH, Atiku begged Wike to endorse him in the 2023 presidential election.
According to a close friend of the governor who spoke candidly with The PUNCH, the former Vice-President had promised to comply with all of Wike’s demands.
Olusegun Obasanjo met with Wike earlier on Thursday in London, United Kingdom, in an effort to increase public support for Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party.
Along with Wike and Obi, the Rivers State governor’s allies included the governors of Oyo State, Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, and Donald Duke, a former governor of Cross River State.
Following the former Vice President’s victory in the PDP presidential primaries a few months ago, ties between Atiku and Wike deteriorated.
According to reports, Atiku rejected the PDP committee’s suggestion that Wike, who finished second in the presidential primaries, serve as his running mate.
After Atiku selected Ifeanyi Okowa, the governor of Delta State, as his running mate, Wike developed resentment.
Wike asked that the PDP’s Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, be fired even though the party established a team to mediate the dispute between the two men.
The former Vice-men President’s refused the governor’s request to have Ayu dismissed, which led to an impasse during the peace committee meeting on Friday in Port Harcourt between Wike and Atiku supporters.
Additionally, it was reported that Atiku’s delegation turned down a proposal that, if elected, the PDP presidential candidate serve a single term.
Atiku’s travel companion to the meeting with Wike in London, according to a very credible source, was Adamawa State Governor Ahmadu Fintri.
Even though the source did not identify Wike’s demands, he said that Atiku had agreed to accede to all of the governor’s demands.
He (Atiku) has agreed to comply with all requirements, the source said.
On all of the contracts, he will sign an undertaking.
The Wike group is prepared to collaborate with him once he is able to meet them.
The specifics will be revealed.
Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate for the All Progressives Congress, was favored over Obi by the Rivers governor’s aides, The PUNCH learned earlier on Thursday.
On Monday, Wike and the former governor of Lagos State met in London.
On Wednesday, Ibrahim Masari, a former APC running mate placeholder, confirmed that Tinubu had met Wike and said more meetings would take happen soon.
By God’s grace, we are going to collaborate with Governor Nyesom Wike on the 2023 presidential election, which was the main topic of the discussion.
He will help, and with God’s help, we will easily win the election,” he said to the BBC in Hausa from London.
He claims that Wike may work for Tinubu without having to resign from the PDP first.
By enticing Wike to his side, Tinubu, who had faced harsh criticism for his preference for a Muslim-Muslim ticket, hopes to improve his chances of winning the February 28 presidential election.
The 2023 presidential election was the topic of the meeting between Obasanjo and Wike, according to a member of the Rivers governor’s camp who confirmed it on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press about it.
When The PUNCH questioned the source on the likelihood of an alliance between Obi and Wike, the source responded, “Obasanjo is working on that, but many of us (Wike’s camp) favor Tinubu.”
He continued, “Tinubu has a political structure and foundation, which clarifies the camp’s preference.
Despite being “Obidient,” Obi lacks a basis and structure.
Obi’s candidacy will only spread to the PDP base.
According to a close friend of the governor of Rivers State who spoke candidly with one of our journalists, Obasanjo based his support for Obi on the requirement that the South-East produce the next president.
“You know Obasanjo; if he believes in something, he works for it,” the individual who was informed of what transpired at the meeting with Obi said.
His attendance at the meeting served to persuade Wike to back Obi.
He thinks the presidential candidate for the Labour Party is capable.
The meeting was confirmed to The PUNCH by Onwuasoanya Jones, the spokesperson for the Peter Obi Support Network.
He declared, “I can confirm that Peter Obi met with these PDP governors and His Excellency Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in London, and I can assure you that this is just one of many meetings of this nature that have already taken place and will continue to take place as we get closer to the 2023 elections.
Of course, the conversation is focused on saving our beloved nation from an impending collapse, and Nigerian nationalists agree that Peter Obi is the most trustworthy candidate to carry out this vision.
The APC national vice-chairman for the South-East recalled that Amaechi and Wike were good friends from their undergraduate days until their political differences in an interview with The PUNCH on Thursday.
“I don’t think that (Wike’s arrival) will force Amaechi out of the party,” he declared.
Instead, it should bring the two friends together for the same cause, especially if they are both certain that our presidential candidate will win in some fashion.
Because if the Wike I know does not believe that Tinubu would be elected president, he will not agree to meet with Tinubu.
Nobody desires to be a part of the losing team.
Since both Amaechi and Wike think Tinubu will become the next president of Nigeria, I see a chance for them to collaborate.
They were buddies, and I am confident that they will jump at the chance to collaborate if given the opportunity.
Adebayo Shittu, a former minister of communication, does not have the same viewpoint.
Amaechi, according to Shittu, had nothing but anger and a cold attitude toward Tinubu.
The director general of the Asiwaju Tinubu-Shettima Coalition for Good Governance thinks that Amaechi will undoubtedly be replaced and demoted by Wike once he joins the APC.
He’s been quite ambivalent, looking for a miracle to make things go his way.
We all know Wike is savvy, so if it eventually happens (the defection), he will push him away.
“Wike is at the moment engaged in psychological warfare against the PDP, forcing them to speculate as to whether he will quit the group or not.
He claimed that his goal was to punish the PDP in order to teach them a lesson by electoral defeat.
Yekini Nabena, a former Deputy Spokesman for the APC, agreed with Shittu that Wike’s actions were similar to those taken by Amaechi when he defected to the nPDP with other party members (New PDP).
He claims that politics is primarily concerned with facts, interests, and emotionless negotiations.
“Politics is all about negotiating,” he said.
Some other folks will take the backseat once the big people arrive.
As you are aware, when the governor entered office in Rivers State, people retreated.
It is impossible to have a governor in office while someone else rises to the top.
“Amaechi constructed his system in this manner.
Although we haven’t seen much of Amaechi, we are starting to see the Wike’s side.
We may not be aware of his strategy, but all will work out when the moment is right.
Others include the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; former governors of Ogun State and current senators, Ibikunle Amosun and Ajayi Boroffice; former governors of Zamfara, Ahmad Sani; former governors of Imo State and current senators, Rochas Okorocha; former Senate President, Ken Nnamani; former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole; a fiery cleric named Tunde Bakare;
The APC Presidential primary, which took place at Eagle Square from June 7 to 10, was the candidates’ most recent appearance together.
Atiku advises supporters
The PDP presidential candidate has meantime urged all party members and his supporters to refrain from saying anything that could jeopardize the ongoing reconciliation effort.
He believed that such reconciliation would boost the party even more and unite all of its leaders.
These were said by the former vice president in a statement released on Thursday in Abuja and signed by his media adviser, Paul Ibe.
“It has become important to appeal to all party members, leaders, and everyone connected to, associated with, or related to the PDP’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to refrain from saying things that could damage the PDP’s perception as a unified political party,” he added.
“This appeal becomes necessary to draw the attention of party leaders and members to the diverting antics of the ruling All Progressives Congress which, in fabricating a false impression of division within the PDP, seeks to deceive the Nigerian public into overlooking the monumental failures of the ruling party.
“Today, Nigerians look forward to the PDP as the leader of the opposition to the current government.
The APC is anxious about their approaching defeat in the federal elections of next year because of this anticipation from the electorate.
It is also the main justification for how the ruling party is attempting to split the PDP by manipulating the political system.
“The APC has chosen to play the devil’s advocate, regaling in celebration of their fictitious invincibility upon a fake allegation that the PDP is divided, because they know they have nothing to campaign on based on their records of performance in office.
“For this reason, I’m pleading with every genuine PDP supporter and everyone who sincerely hopes the party’s presidential candidate will succeed to resist the APC’s shenanigans and refrain from making statements that could support the bogus notion that there are divides inside the PDP.
“All the party leaders, especially the governor of Rivers State, His Excellency Nyesom Wike, and all the PDP governors, are committed to the PDP’s overall triumph in the general elections of next year.