By John Alechenu, Abuja
The presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar, and Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, have held their long-awaited face-to-face meeting in Abuja, reaching an agreement to set up a joint consultation committee to thrash out issues.
Vanguard gathered, on Thursday, that the two men met behind closed doors at the private residence of Professor Jerry Gana, a member of the party’s Board of Trustees, BoT.
A source, who confirmed that the meeting, told Vanguard it held in a very cordial atmosphere, with both men exchanging banters.
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The source said: “The long-awaited meeting between our presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, held at Professor Jerry Gana’s residence today (Thursday).
“They both agreed to set up a joint consultation committee made up of equal number of persons to thrash out the issues.
“This should be done between now and next week, after which they are expected to brief the various organs of the party.
“This is the first step towards the setting up of our Presidential Campaign Council.
“Very, very soon, all these challenges will be behind us and the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, will know their time in office is up for good.”
Contacted, a source in Wike’s camp said: “Our principal is yet to brief me. But I know whatever decision he takes, he will reach out to us and we will collectively decide the way forward.
“We all agreed at our meeting that our collective political interests will be better served in the PDP.
“The party belongs to all of us what transpired before and after our primary is behind us now.”
Also contacted, Atiku’s Media Adviser, Mazi Paul Ibe, said: “I cannot comment because I’m yet to be briefed by my principal.”
Recall that Wike and his supporters were angered first by the scheming, which led to his loss at the party’s presidential primary, and then by the decision of the presidential candidate to overlook Wike in his choice of a running mate.
Atiku picked Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, as running mate from a list of three persons nominated by a Special Committee he set up to assist him in his search for a running mate.
Chairman of the Committee and Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, in an interview revealed that the panel had voted 14 to three in favour of Wike as the preferred choice, but the candidate chose Okowa for reasons best known to him.
In response, Atiku had explained that he picked Okowa as it was his prerogative, noting that he felt Okowa who has both legislative and executive experience, will best compliment him.
Meanwhile, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Debo Ologunagba, restated the confidence of party stakeholders in the leadership of Dr. Iyiochia Ayu.
He said this while reading a communique of a stakeholders meeting.