With less than two weeks to the commencement of 2023 campaign season, Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers state, is currently meeting with his allies to chart a path that they will tow ahead of the forthcoming elections, TheCable can report.
The meeting is being held at Port Harcourt, capital city of Rivers state.
Some of Wike’s allies present at the meeting are Donald Duke, a former governor of Cross River State, and Bode George, a PDP chieftain.
“The likes of Okezie Ikpeazu, governor of Abia, and Samuel Ortom of Benue are not present but they sent word that they will abide by the outcome of the meeting,” a source said.
The outcome of the meeting will be crucial to which presidential candidate they would align with during the polls, the source said.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been in turmoil since May following the emergence of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar as the standard bearer of the party.
Wike, whom many thought would be chosen as the party’s vice-presidential candidate, was sidelined by Abubakar when he picked Ifeanyi Okowa, governor of Delta, as his running mate.
This worsened the crisis for the country’s major opposition party.
Thereafter, Wike and his allies demanded that Iyorchia Ayu, national chairman of the PDP, resign his position because he and Abubakar are from the north – as a precondition for peace in the party.
Ayu has since dismissed the call, saying that they are children, further infuriating some members of the party.
“I was voted as PDP chairman for a four-year tenure and I am yet to complete a year,” the PDP national chairman had said.
“Atiku’s victory doesn’t affect the chairman’s position. I won my election based on our party’s constitution.”
WIKE POLITICKING ACROSS PARTY LINES
Following Wike’s increasing unhappiness with Abubakar and the PDP, he has spoken with presidential candidates of at least two other political parties, exploring a possibility of working with them.
With just days apart in August, the Rivers governor met with Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and Peter Obi, standard bearer of the Labour Party (LP).
Tinubu and Obi, who has former President Olusegun Obasanjo on his side, are said to be looking at exploiting the crisis of the PDP for their own advantage.
Also, Abubakar has met with Wike in a bid to resolve their rift but that has not been successful because the latter has insisted that Ayu resigns.