By Miftaudeen Raji
Absence of governors on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and some key members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) in Yola has reflected how the crisis rocking the party is weakening the presidential movement of the presidential candidate of the party in 2023, Atiku Abubakar.
The former vice president, on Monday, attended a rally in Yola, the capital of Adamawa state, his home state, where he formally received supporters of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC in the state, including two state lawmakers, who defected to the PDP.
Considering the political stature of Atiku, one would have expected the event to see the weight of PDP structure reflected in the Adamawa rally, but this did not happen.
One of the major pointer that Atiku’s camp is experiencing some silent crisis is that no PDP governor, (apart from the host, Governor Fintiri of Adamawa) and only four members of the NWC, attended the event.
Instead of attending the rally in Yola, big wigs in the PDP converged in Rivers for a meeting with Governor Nyesom Wike, who is contending for control of the party with the presidential candidate.
In Rivers, Wike met with some former governors including former governor of Gombe state, Ibrahim Danwambo; governor of Benue state, Samuel Ortom; governor of Abia state, Okezie Ikpeazu; former governor of Cross Rivers state, Donald Duke and former Attorney General of the federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, SAN among others.
In fact, presidential candidate of Labour Party, LP, Peter Obi was also spotted with Wike in a picture taken on the same day.
The PDP presidential candidate along with his vice, Ifeanyi Okowa, were received in Yola on Monday by the Adamawa state governor, Ahmadu Fintiri.
Recall that the circumstances of Atiku’s emergence as PDP’s candidate and his alleged refusal to adopt the recommendation of Wike by a committee set up to choose a Vice Presidential candidate as his running mate had opened a gap in the party which has so far proved tough to close.
The cold shoulder by the governors and NWC members may not be unconnected with the alleged feelings of some members of his camp that he is allowing the crisis to fester for too long without any serious solution from him.
According to the source who prefers not to be named, the governors and those NWC members are taking a break from Atiku’s campaign “until he starts his unifying mantra from within the party before he can fully enjoy their support.
“Governors of the party are not with Wike and indeed members of the NWC feel strongly that the flag bearer has been far from creative in solving the crisis rocking the party. Not only did he poorly handle the events immediately after the primaries, he has also not been forthcoming with tangible actions to patch up the party thereafter,” the source said.
Notwithstanding, the Adamawa stage was not empty for Atiku, he had in his entourage, a former Vice President, Namadi Sambo; former Adamawa State Governor, Boni Haruna; former Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu; Senator Adamu Maina; and Senator Dino Melaye.
The PDP flag bearer was received by a mammoth crowd at the Mahmud Ribadu Square in Yola.
Atiku is visiting his hometown for the very first time after his emergence as the flagbearer of the PDP in the presidential primaries held in Abuja in May.
Atiku, alongside governor of Adamawa State, Umaru Fintiri and national chairman of PDP Iyorchia Ayu, received the decampees, while assuring them a level playing ground.
At the ceremony, Atiku assured Nigerians that he has no other agenda but to serve the people.