The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, is set to return from his foreign trip to nip in the bud the crisis bedevilling the party over choice of his running mate.
A highly placed source told Akelicious yesterday that the top echelon of the party was not comfortable with the visit of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governors to Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.
Wike had contested the presidential ticket of the PDP with Atiku and many others but lost at the primary held in Abuja.
Many party bigwigs then suggested that the governor should be picked as Atiku’s running mate, but that didn’t happen as Atiku, a former vice president, picked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State as his running mate, a development which triggered a crisis in the party as Wike’s men seem not happy with the scheme of things.
It was hinted that the PDP National Chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, and other stakeholders of the party were exploring different options to end the crisis before the Osun governorship poll slated for July 16, and the 2023 general polls.
The party is expected to leverage on the committee set up by its Board of Trustees (BoT) Chairman, Senator Walid Jibrin, which had Atiku as chairman to bring together the stakeholders towards resolving the contentious issue.
Also, following the poor turnout of party bigwigs during the inauguration of the Osun governorship campaign council, where only two of the 12 governors on the party’s platform attended, Atiku, who is expected to return early this week, is expected to lead the charge to ensure PDP’s victory in the state.
A source said, “The former vice president will soon be on ground to lead the PDP rally for the Osun governorship election in Osogbo on Thursday.
“Once he (Atiku) arrives, he will also take full charge of the dialogue and mediation process to resolve the fallout from the PDP presidential nomination process.”
When contacted, Atiku’s spokesman, Paul Ibe, confirmed to Daily Trust that Atiku would be in Osogbo to lead the mobilisation of the people of the state to cast their votes for the PDP governorship candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke.
Ibe said, “Atiku will lead from the front once he arrives to reinvigorate and ensure the resolution of all the issues that arose following the conclusion of the nomination processes and it will all be addressed.”
Meanwhile, a pan-Igbo sociopolitical pressure organisation, the South East Revival Group (SERG), has appealed to Governor Wike to stop romancing with the APC.
The SERG, in a statement yesterday by its President and National Coordinator, Chief Willy Ezugwu, advised Governor Wike not to take a hasty decision of defecting to the APC on account of his fate in the PDP.
The group said, “As audacious supporters of Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, who is one of those we consider to be outstanding in the build up to the recently concluded presidential primary of the PDP, we sincerely counsel the Rivers State governor to be very cautious in taking political decisions at this time; whether the governor is aggrieved or not.
Even though we know that he was betrayed during the presidential primary of his party, the political terrain in Nigeria is too slippery for hasty decisions by any wise politician in the country.”