The Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate and former Vice-President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, met with the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, in London on Thursday.
The meeting is part of the efforts to salvage the crisis in the party following its presidential primary election which was won by Atiku, and his choice of Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, as his running mate against the recommendation of a PDP Committee to pick Wike.
At the meeting in London, Atiku pleaded for Wike’s support in the 2023 election and agreed to meet all the demands of the governor, The PUNCH reported citing Wike’s associate. The demands however, were not specified by the source.
Also on Thursday, former President Olusegun Obasanjo had a meeting with Wike and Peter Obi in London, in a move aimed at increasing support for Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party.
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State; Samuel Ortom of Benue State; Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State and former Cross River State Governor, Donald Duke, were all at the meeting.
Meanwhile, the associates of the Nyesom Wike had expressed their preferences for Tinubu, APC’s presidential candidate over Peter Obi, Labour Party’s presidential candidate, according to The PUNCH citing a source in Wike’s camp.
The source said that “Obasanjo is working” on Obi/Wike alliance “but many of us (Wike’s camp) prefer Tinubu.”
He explained that “Tinubu has a political structure and base. Although Obi is ‘Obidient’, he doesn’t have a structure and base. Obi’s candidacy will only rub off on the PDP’s stronghold.”
“You know Obasanjo; if he believes in something, he works for it. His presence at the meeting was to convince Wike to support Obi. He believes the Labour Party’s presidential candidate is competent.”
Obasanjo’s support for Obi was hinged on the need for the South-East to produce the next president, according to the report.
Confirming the meeting, the Spokesperson for the Peter Obi Support Network, Onwuasoanya Jones said, “I can confirm that Peter Obi met with these PDP governors and our former President, His Excellency Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, in London and I can tell you that this is one out of several such meetings that have been held and will still be held as we approach the 2023 elections.
“Of course, the discussion is centered on salvaging our dear country from an imminent collapse, and there is a consensus among Nigerian patriots that Peter Obi is the most reliable of the candidates to drive this vision.”
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The PDP had set up panel to reconcile the rift between Wike and Aitku but a Friday meeting in Port Harcourt ended in deadlock as Wike’s requests were not granted.
Wike had requested for the removal of the party’s Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu and that the PDP presidential candidate should serve one term if elected.
On Atiku agreeing to Wike’s demands during the Thursday’s meeting in London, the source stated, “He (Atiku) has agreed to meet all demands. He will sign an undertaking on all the agreements. Once he is able to meet them, the Wike group is ready to work with him. The details will be made known.”
Tinubu, APC’s presidential candidate had also met with Wike in London on Monday. The meeting was confirmed by former APC running mate placeholder, Ibrahim Masari, who said that they would continue to meet in due course.
“The meeting was basically on the 2023 presidential election and by God’s grace, we are going to work with Governor Nyesom Wike. He will assist and we are going to win the election with ease, by the will of God,’’ he told the BBC Hausa from London.
Ifunanya Ikueze is an Engineer, Safety Professional, Writer, Investor, Entrepreneur and Educator.