House divided: PDP grappling with internal conflicts
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) could contest the 2023 elections as a split chamber. It’s if he doesn’t explore all avenues to bring disgruntled members back into his fold. Currently, the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar; Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and President Dr Iyorchia Ayu do not walk in tandem with Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike; Ayodele Fayose, former Governor of Ekiti State and Governor Gabriel Ortom of Benue State. It is a war of one triumvirate against another.
Wike’s story fits into what scientists would call a stimulus and response paradigm. The man felt cheated twice and the domino effect is there. He lost the presidential ticket at the last minute due to Sokoto Governor Aminu Tambuwal’s action of erecting his tent with Atiku during the presidential primary election. And when Wike figured his pay would come through running for vice president, Okowa surfaced like a conjurer bunny to take the job. And the man who performed this abracadabra was Ayu.
Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom told Arise TV on Wednesday that he was part of the 17-member committee set up by Atiku “and 14 of us in the committee said the person should be Wike. Unfortunately, Atiku chose Okowa in his wisdom. You can’t ignore the decision of a committee you created yourself and expect people to be happy.
Although the olive branch is being waved at Wike by Atiku’s emissaries, Ortom said, “They should stop this. Atiku should go to him (Wike). Why doesn’t he ignore their calls? Isn’t that an insult? Wike is a pillar of the party. Currently, no one in the party has done more to advance the party than Wike. If Atiku wasn’t going to honor the committee’s decision, he should have called Wike earlier and informed him. He didn’t do that. You can’t haphazardly do things and expect us to be happy. Why are you just sending calls to Wike, you should go see him.
Sule Lamido, former Governor of Jigawa State, in an interview with reporters in Abuja, also attested to Wike’s enormous importance in the party: “Governor Wike is very energetic, he has done so well as a as governor of the PDP in his state. and who strongly supported the PDP. But again, it was created by the PDP. He is someone we must take care to preserve and we must save him from his wrath.
“Wike is a huge treasure for PDP and one of the best materials. If we win (in 2023), he is the natural heir to the throne because he has the quality, the aura, the charm, the charisma and the age. I said this: PDP is a family. There was a primary election and there were expectations, but some of them weren’t met. It is therefore natural to react. I can understand that.”
True. Wike reacts! Since every stimulus must create a response, Wike expressed a certain body language. Last week he held a meeting with Labor Party presidential candidate Peter Obi; Governor David Umahi of the APC; Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) and the Governor of Bauchi State, Senator Bala Mohammed. After these, he traveled to Turkey on Tuesday, a development which bolstered the report that he had a meeting with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, presidential candidate of the Congress of All Progressives (APC) in France.
Now some party leaders are calling for Ayu’s blood. Despite his explanation that Atiku asked the party leadership to recommend a suitable person as his running mate and he set up a committee, which submitted three names, but Atiku chose one, the party bigwigs asked him to resign.
To compound the crisis in the party, when the campaign council inauguration for Osun’s July 16, 2022 election was held at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja this week, 11 of the 12 appointed governors, remained at the gap, which Douoye Diri of Bayelsa was to direct.
Also absent were the following governors: Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Aminu Waziri Tambuwal (Sokoto), Ikpeazu (Abia), Emmanuel Udom (Akwa Ibom), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Ortom (Benue), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri (Adamawa) and Bala Mohammed (Bauchi). Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba was present, however.
Despite this, Okowa wanted the council to secure victory for the PDP in the elections. How far the party can go in Osun and 2023 will be a big study for scholars.
On another anti-Atiku flank is Fayose who on Wednesday pledged to support a southern candidate in the 2023 presidential election. mandates, which implies that it must be a Southern presidency in 2023 or nothing. Nigerians should expect the details soon.
His position on this power shift has been consistent. “If we don’t start putting things into perspective, and rightly so, our children will ask questions. The unfortunate demise of former President Yar’Adua is not a sufficient excuse for anyone to remove the letters from our constitution,” Fayose said in an interview on Channels Television.
“Are we saying if you contest an election and you lose, they (the north) have to keep producing you so you win before zoning matters? Nope! The last election cleared the north. If they had won this election, they would be here today. I don’t think we shouldn’t zone this presidential ticket.