.Governor Wike is expanding infrastructure for the future

…Seeks single term from Atiku, Ayu stepping down as chairman, NASS leadership, others

…BoT, NWC to meet tomorrow

…PDP’s problem not as bad as APC’s Muslim-Muslim issue —Walid Jibrin

By John Alechenu & Ibrahim Hassan, ABUJA

To make the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, approach the 2023 general polls with a united front, the party’s Boad of Trustees, BoT; and National Working Committee, NWC, have stepped in to address the lingering crisis between its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and supporters of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.

Both organs of the party will meet tomorrow.

Ahead of the meeting, state co-ordinators of the Wike Presidential Campaign Council, after a meeting with Wike, on Sunday, resolved to, among other things, remain in the PDP.

Vanguard gathered that they have hammered out a list of demands for truce they will present to Atiku Abubakar in the presence of PDP leaders.

Sources said the demands include getting Abubakar to agree to do one term, if elected; asking National Chairman of the PDP, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, to resign as chairman to enable a Southerner take over in line with the North-South power sharing formula since the presidential candidate is from the North; and headship of the Senate and House of Representatives, among others.

‘Minimum conditions’

They also agreed to give “irreducible minimum” conditions whenever the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and the party leadership approach them for a truce.

Vanguard gathered in Abuja, yesterday, that the members of the council, especially governors, after reviewing happenings in the party since the PDP presidential primary and selection of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State as running mate, agreed that Wike deserves to be treated better.

‘No quitting PDP’

They, however, noted that irrespective of the fact that they were hurt and rightly so, their individual and collective interests would be better served within the party.

A source familiar with this development who spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to hamper ongoing reconciliation efforts, said: “A date for the meeting (between the party leadership and Wike) has not yet been agreed on. Wike has been silent since this whole thing started. We expect a cessation of the insults being heaped on him by some party leaders. He deserves respect, to disrespect him is to say we no longer matter.

 “All party members who supported the aspiration of Governor Wike look forward to the meeting between the party, the presidential aspirant and him. It is not on the pages of newspapers; no one has approached him for a face-to-face meeting.

“He (Wike) is upset; we all are. But we are not averse to a peaceful resolution of all outstanding issues. As a group, we look forward to having a commitment from the presidential candidate with the party leadership serving as witness.

“It will not be too much for us to produce the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, either the Senate Presidency or the Speakership in addition to some ministerial and heads of parastatal slots, when our party wins in 2023.

“We will also expect Atiku and his people to make offers for us to consider going forward. We are party men and women; we deserve to be carried along.”

It was also gathered that the Iyorchia Ayu-led National Working Committee, NWC, was locked in a meeting in a secret location in Abuja, yesterday, preparatory to a formal meeting at the party secretariat on Wednesday (tomorrow). 

PDP’s problem not as bad as APC’s Muslim-Muslim issue — Walid Jibrin

In a related development, chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, Senator Walid Jibrin expressed confidence that all outstanding issues will be resolved sooner than later.

In a statement he issued in Abuja, Jibrin expressed concerns that some party members are still taking issue with the long-concluded presidential primaries and the choice of Okowa as running mate.

He said: “I want to assure everyone that all plans are on ground to bring all members together as one and united, as what is happening in the PDP can never be compared with the situation in the All Progressives Congress, APC, especially their plans in trying to bring religious issues of Muslim-Muslim president and vice president. I have also noted that some groups are coming up, trying to solve the issues.”

The BoT chairman commended the efforts of some PDP leaders including former governors and ministers who have been working behind the scenes to ensure the PDP emerges stronger.  

He said the meeting held by some governors and party leaders at the Rivers State Governor’s Lodge, on Sunday was part of such efforts.

His words:  “The aim of the group is to reconcile aggrieved (members) especially  Wike. 

Interestingly, the BoT, the highest advisory body and the conscience of the party, is meeting on Wednesday, August 3 to discuss the issues accordingly and come up with strong recommendations with the special committee for the special reconciliation of aggrieved members especially Governor Wike.

“After the BoT meeting, we will meet with Wike and all aggrieved members and all past presidential aspirants.  It is my prayer as Chairman of BoT that the PDP will remain strong and win all elections in 2023.

It will be recalled that Wike met with his campaign co-ordinators at his official residence in Abuja, on Sunday.

Those at the meeting included Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State and Governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.

Others were former governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke, former governor of Benue State, Senator Gabriel Suswam, former Ondo State governor, Olusegun Mimiko, former Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson, former governor Ibrahim Idris of Kogi State and former Plateau state governor, Jonah Jang.

Others include former PDP Deputy National Vice-Chairman, North, Senator Suleiman Nazif, former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, member of the House of Representatives from Kogi State, Tajudeen Yusuf,   among others.

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