Governors loyal to Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike are expected to meet with Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, this weekend to discuss the party’s issue, Daily Independent has exclusively learned.
They have also agreed to impose some conditions on Atiku before they will back him in the 2023 presidential election.
A member of Governor Wike’s strategy team, who confided in Daily Independent on Tuesday said they have all agreed that no matter what happened, they are not going to leave the PDP for any other party.
He, however, acknowledged that there are serious overtures from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and its presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to lure Wike and those sympathetic to him to the ruling party.
One of the conditions, according to him, is that Atiku must agree to serve for just one term if he wins the presidential election.
Other conditions, according to him, borders on sharing of political appointments and the rezoning of party offices, especially that of the party.
He said, “Yes, it is true. We will be meeting with the presidential candidate and we will table our conditions before him.
Governor Wike has given us the go-ahead and we believe we will achieve something positive at the end. “One of the conditions is that he (Atiku) must agree to do just one term.
Others include the sharing of political appointments in the presidency if our party wins. We are confident of winning so it is better we discuss the sharing of appointments now.
“Another one has to do with the continued stay of the national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu.
The presidential candidate recently said he can only step down if he wins while some of us believe that was not the agreement we had before the convention held in October last year.
Hopefully, all these will be resolved during our meeting”, he said.
Another close associate of Governor Wike informed Daily Independent that the Rivers State governor has made it clear that as a major stakeholder in the PDP, he won’t quit the party but will not support Atiku’s presidential bid.
Despite getting 14 recommendations from the 17-member panel set up by the party leadership to search for a vice presidential candidate, Wike who came second in the presidential primaries was snubbed by Atiku in favour of Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, who contributed immensely to his campaign.
The action has polarised the party as stakeholders in the party who are loyal to Wike have shunned some of the party’s activities such as the unveiling of Okowa and the party’s campaign in the just concluded Osun governorship election which was won by Senator Ademola Adeleke.
While Atiku insisted on his choice of Okowa, saying that it is his prerogative to choose his running mate, Wike also threatened to reveal some secrets in the party.
The governor stated that it has become pertinent for him to speak and reveal to Nigerians all that transpired in the PDP since the emergence of Atiku as the presidential candidate of the main opposition party.
“On Atiku, I will speak soon, and Nigerians will know the actual truth of all that has transpired in the PDP in recent times,” he said.
Speaking with Daily Independent, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, a chieftain of the PDP and former Delta State governorship aspirant, said talks between Atiku and Wike is already at advanced stage and both men will work together to secure victory for the party in the presidential election. “Yes, the issues will be positively resolved very soon.
I can tell you that the party leaders mediating between the two gladiators have achieved 85 percent results in resolution of the crisis.
I want to assure you that Atiku, Wike and Okowa will soon embrace themselves and work together for the success of the party”, he said