2023: As PDP Crisis Escalates, Atiku Constitutes Team to Pacify Wike, Others

2023: Atiku Constitutes Team To Pacify Wike, Other Aggrieved PDP Members

With the conclusion of the presidential nomination processes of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has constituted a committee saddled with the responsibility of pacifying and wooing aggrieved members of the party, including Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.

It was gathered that the move is to ensure that the party remains united as it bids to reclaim power back in 2023.

Following the conclusion of the presidential primary election of PDP, of which Atiku emerged the winner, and the nomination of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State as the Vice-Presidential candidate of the party, indications emerged that the opposition party might run into stormy waters as some members are against the flagbearers.

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The New Diplomat had reported that many had openly rejected the nomination of Okowa as the Vice-Presidential candidate of the party. There have also been reports that Okowa was chosen by a few power blocs without full consultations among party stakeholders.

It would be recalled that Wike, Okowa and Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa-Ibom had appeared before the screening panel set up by the PDP to nominate a vice-presidential candidate for the PDP presidential flagbearer. However, Okowa made the final cut after rumours had it that Wike had been selected by the party advisory committee as the vice-presidential candidate the day before.

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In a move to avert the imminent danger, Atiku was said to have constituted a team to appease and fully bring back Wike into his campaign council, ahead of the 2023 general elections.

This was confirmed by a top member of the party who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The PDP chieftain said the committee is saddled with the responsibility to reconcile all grievances in the party. The members of the committee are expected to mend cracks with Wike and other members believed to be aggrieved in the party.

“Atiku wanted to tell Wike about his choice of Okowa one-on-one but then, he heard that Wike had returned to Rivers. That clearly showed good faith. Even though Wike was not the selected candidate, Atiku wanted to accord him respect by letting him know before the news got to the public.

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“Atiku has set up a reconciliatory committee to reach out to Wike and mend the cracks. Atiku understands the need to go to the 2023 elections with a united front. Everyone will be pacified. Not only Wike but every aggrieved person within the party,” the source was quoted to have said.

Another party member who spoke with the Press, said it was clear that some members of the party are aggrieved about how things played out before and after the nomination process, noting that there is a need to bring everyone back to the fold in order to take power in 2023.

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The source said, “Our people (PDP members) are still aggrieved and when you are doing mediation, you don’t give the impression that you are not sincere but it is a serious undertaking. His Excellency, Governor Wike is strategic to Atiku’s victory, make no mistake about it. Whatever anybody may say, that is a party man through and through. He understands the times we are in and that was why he threw his hat in the ring; that is why he wants to be president because he feels that he has what it takes to lead the country so also the other candidates who contested.

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“Now, that the contest is over, we really have a responsibility to bring everybody together. You don’t go to a battle with a disunited army. Wike is the kind of man you can go to battle with, you don’t leave him behind. You do all you can to bring him on board. The enemy is not within PDP; the enemies are those who have enslaved us; people that have impoverished us.”

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Asked about the composition of the reconciliation panel, the source declined to release their names, noting that the job of the members was sensitive.

According to him, the team would approach those known to have Wike’s ears and get them to talk to the Rivers State Governor to close ranks with Atiku.

On the time-frame for the committee’s work, the source added, “No time-frame, it is an ongoing process. We are working very hard and I can assure you that a lot of work is going on. I know because I have spoken with one of those involved.”

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