Wike Shuns Atiku’s Emissary
Recent activities of the PDP have shown that things are not going well within the party over Atiku’s choice of Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as his running mate in the 2023 presidential election at expense of Governor Wike.
There are speculations that Wike may dump the party after he lost the PDP primaries to Atiku and subsequent picking of Okowa as the vice-presidential candidate.
On Thursday, reports emerged that Wike refused to grant audience to a former Minister of Police Affairs, Adamu Waziri, who was sent to speak with him by Atiku.
According to Premium Times, sources said Atiku deployed Waziri to meet Wike, who is on holiday in Turkey, after the governor rebuffed several attempts by the presidential candidate to arrange a meeting between them.
The former vice president has been unable to see Wike since he overlooked him to pick his Okowa as his running mate.
Sources said Atiku had wanted to personally inform Wike that he was not his vice presidential pick before making the public announcement, but the governor left Abuja the night before the announcement, having found out that Atiku had settled for someone else.
The governor has also refused to speak on telephone with Atiku and his emissaries who were trying to have a meeting with him.
Having got wind that Wike was away in Turkey, aides said Atiku deployed the former minister who tracked the governor down to Hilton Conrad Hotel in Istanbul on Thursday.
However, despite the two men running into each other in the lobby of the hotel, Wike declined his request for the two of them to huddle to enable him deliver a message from Atiku.
Waziri was said to have called several friends and some leaders of the PDP in Nigeria on telephone to help persuade Wike to discuss with him, but the governor did not yield.
Contrary to the claim by Waziri on Thursday that he met Wike in Istanbul, aides of the governor insisted that Wike did not grant an audience to the former minister.
Waziri made the claim while debunking a statement by a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos, Joe Igbokwe, that Wike flew to France to meet the party’s presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, who is in that country.
”Governor Wike came directly from Nigeria to Istanbul, Turkey. He did not go to France as speculated. This is to debunk the propaganda of the APC through Igbokwe.
“This is fake news orchestrated by the sinking ruling party which is on its way out,” he said in a telephone chat as reported by Daily Trust newspaper.
When asked him of his mission to Istanbul, he snapped; “What is your business with our mission? We came to rest after our national convention. Of course, as a political animal, I do politics anywhere I find myself.”
But, Paul Ibe, Atiku’s Senior Special Adviser on Media, denied the reports, saying the PDP Presidential candidate did not send any emissary to Turkey.
Ibe assured that all issues with Governor Wike and other aggrieved leaders will be amicably resolved by Atiku.
”The report that H.E @atiku sent an emissary who was shunned by Gov Wike is at best hogwash. The @OfficialPDPNig presidential candidate did not send any emissary to Turkey.
”Those trying to create a wedge between the leaders do not mean well for the PDP and Nigeria. I wish to assure them that all extant issues with the Rivers State Governor and other aggrieved leaders will be amicably resolved so that the party can focus on booting out the ruinous APC administration and commence the arduous task of reconstructing our nation,” he tweeted.
KanyiDaily recalls that Atiku Abubakar had recently described Governor Nyesom Wike as the Jagaban of the PDP, stressing that he holds him in high esteem because he’s a man of revolution.
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