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Former PDP Presidential Aspirants Move To End Wike-Atiku Rift

Presidential Aspirants Intervention For Wike-Atiku Rift

Disturbed by the rift between Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, his allies, and Atiku Abubakar, some presidential aspirants who contested the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary election and lost have commenced moves to end the crisis.

PDP Crisis: "Iyorchia Ayu Can’t Be Forced To Resign" - Atiku Replies Wike’s Camp

Presidential Aspirants Intervention For Wike-Atiku Rift

Atiku is the presidential candidate of the PDP for the February 25, 2023, general elections.

The moves by the former presidential aspirants to end the ongoing dispute between Wike and Atiku are also backed by some National Executive Committee members of the PDP

Wike, alongside his Oyo, Enugu, Benue, and Abia states counterparts, Seyi Makinde, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Samuel Ortom, and Okezie Ikpeazu, respectively, have in the past two months threatened not to support the PDP ahead of the election if the National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, refused to resign from his position for a southerner to replace him.

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They argued that both the presidential candidate of the PDP and the national chairman come from the North.

Atiku hails from Adamawa – North East while Ayu comes from Benue – North Central.

According to them, Ayu agreed to relinquish his position if a northerner emerged as the party’s presidential candidate.

The aggrieved governors pulled out of the party’s presidential campaign council, a development that prompted the Board of Trustees to set up an ad hoc committee to broker peace between both parties. One of the recommendations of the committee was that the chairman should commit to vacating his seat after the elections. Wike and his group, however, rejected the report and insisted that Ayu must resign as the chairman before the polls.

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It was gathered that before the BoT came up with the idea of setting up the committee, the presidential aspirants made an attempt to see Wike, but were not successful until the governor travelled to London in September with members of his camp.

One of the aspirants, Sam Ohuabunwa, said despite the uncompromising stand of Wike and his group, the reconciliation effort would continue as no serious PDP member “will want to give up.”

“Nobody will want to give up on reconciliation, because it is fundamental to our ability to confront the competition ahead. It is an ongoing exercise and we pray that wisdom will prevail and if wisdom prevails, the party will smile and will be able to go into the elections as a united entity,” he said.

On efforts made on the issue by the aspirants, Ohuabunwa said, “We are trying, but the truth of the matter is that all over the world, there are people who stick to certain principles and they are implacable. If you want peace, make sure there is justice.

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“Wike is a dogged fighter for what he believes in. If you care to listen to him, you will find out that he is not fighting for the sake of fighting. A lot of people are speaking with him but he is saying, ‘Let justice be done.’ The question is: Is it possible to meet some of his demands to form the basis of reconciliation?

“We have done a lot, but we don’t have to put everything in the media. We are working day and night and we are also praying. A lot of subterranean undercurrents are going on and we are hopeful that this crisis will come to an end soon.”

Another aspirant, Dele Momodu, expressed the willingness of the former contestants of the PDP ticket to meet with Wike to resolve the crisis in the party’s interest.

“I love Wike and I will continue to love him. We (presidential aspirants) will like to meet with him but the roads are blocked given the statements coming from him. So, it is not easy but the intention, willingness, and readiness are there. We will not give up no matter what,” Momodu stated.

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On his part, a former senate president, Bukola Saraki, who also contested the presidential ticket and was appointed a special envoy to Atiku on September 26, expressed determination to do all that was necessary to make the PDP united ahead of the 2023 presidential election.

Saraki spoke through his media aide, Yusuph Olaniyonu, “The disagreement within the party is a family issue. Somebody like Dr. Saraki is close to all the individuals involved and he gets on well with all of them. As a loyal party man, he is determined to work with others to ensure the party goes into the 2023 polls as a united party.”

Meanwhile, Kanyi Daily reported that the Atiku/Okowa campaign council in Rivers State said Wike is on a personal vendetta.

The council stated this in reaction to Wike’s claim that Atiku undermined and disrespected him in the set-up of the campaign council in the state.

The spokesman of the Atiku/Okowa Campaign Council, Leloonu Nwibubasa stated this during an interview on Naija Info FM in Port Harcourt on Friday.

Nwibubasa said Wike and the state Chairman of the PDP were notified about the set-up of the presidential campaign council.

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