Atiku Abubakar, the PDP presidential candidate, and Nyesom Wike, the governor of Rivers state, met behind closed doors last night in Abuja to work out their issues.
According to The Nation, at the meeting, Atiku promised to back Wike’s candidacy for the presidency in 2027 provided Wike agreed to put down his sword and back him (Atiku) in the 2023 election.
Since June, when the former vice president selected Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa over Wike as his running partner, the couple and their supporters have been engaged in a public conflict. Previous attempts to make peace between them had been fruitless. Even though the governor of Rivers State and his followers threatened to boycott Atiku’s presidential bid, it seemed as though Wike had made the decision to disregard him and continued with his campaign.
A significant rift has developed within the PDP as a result of Wike’s support from five of the 11 state governors elected on its platform.
A source, who was privy to what transpired, told the publication;
“Again, Atiku extended the olive branch to Wike. He pleaded with the governor to look at the bigger picture of winning the 2023 poll.
He asked Wike to prevail on his group to join the PDP campaign train.
Atiku promised to be fair to all PDP members despite the differences of the past few weeks which were caused by the outcome of the party’s presidential primaries.”
Another highly-placed source said Atiku offered to support Wike in 2027 if he gives necessary support to him in the ongoing campaign.
“Wike was not forthcoming and he avoided an outright commitment to Atiku’s request to be part of the PDP campaign team. He told Atiku that he would go and consult with his team and get back to him. So, he has kept Atiku in suspense again. We don’t know what the governor and his strategists will say.”
A source in Wike’s camp said
“The governor wasn’t excited about the 2027 poll prospect because he made the Igbo a similar offer in Enugu a few days ago.
The major challenge which Wike felt Atiku did not address was trust deficit. Our camp is of the opinion that Atiku doesn’t walk the talk on any agreement or issue because of pressure here and there.
This crisis would not have reached this level if Atiku had kept faith with London talks and unwritten agreement with Wike. Our group will soon meet on the latest overtures from Atiku.”
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