By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja
A former presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Nwachukwu Anakwenze, on Wednesday expressed concern over the internal crisis rocking the party, warning that it could cost the presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, victory in the 2023 election.
However, he urged Atiku, an ex-vice president, to include all former presidential aspirants of the party, including Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, as members of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council,.
Anakwenze’s appeal was contained in a statement by the Director-General of Anakwenze Campaign Organisation, Eric Oluwole, in Abuja.
It would be recalled that Governor Wike, his Akwa Ibom counterpart, Udom Emmanuel, and former Senate Presidents, Pius Anyim and Bukola Saraki, were noticeably absent when Atiku met with some presidential aspirants at his Asokoro residence last.
The Rivers governor, who had been aggrieved after the PDP primary election, accused the party of betraying him and breaching its constitution.
Wike subsequently demanded the resignation of the party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu – a criterion he said must be met before he supports Atiku in next year’s poll.
But Anakwenze, while calling on the PDP to put its house in order to win the presidency, also appealed to the high-ranking stakeholders and elders of the party in the country to come together urgently to resolve the crisis and reshape it.
He said the inclusion of all former presidential aspirants of the party as members of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council would “help greatly in the ongoing reconciliation within the party and mobilisation of the electorate nationwide behind the PDP flagbearer as he leads the party’s impending national campaign to win the February 25, 2023 presidential election.
“My campaign organization structure has been sensitising and mobilising people across Nigeria to support our party.
“There is need for all former presidential aspirants to release to the PDP presidential campaign team their individual campaign and political structures nationwide, experiences and ideas for the prosecution of a united, well packaged national campaign.
“This will ensure that Nigerians overwhelmingly vote in His Excellency, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, as their next President who is coming in with well designed fresh policies and programmes to rebuild our dear country, Nigeria into a land flourishing in abundance, security, true development, justice and peace.”
Anakwenze stressed the need for reconciliation of all aggrieved groups and individuals within the party before the campaign formally kicks off in a few weeks time, adding that the PDP needed to go into the electoral battle as a united and formidable force to enable the party record a resounding victory at the coming election.
He said, “A united PDP will be in the overall interest of the party and Nigeria which is in dire need of a rescue operation from the worsening chaos and confusion, as typified by the horrors being daily and hourly witnessed by our people across the country.”
The US-based surgeon commended the party’s former presidential aspirants who honoured Atiku invitation for a meeting.
According to him, “It would accelerate the ongoing reconciliation to forge the much-needed unity of all groups and individuals within the party behind one purpose of working seriously for the victory of the PDP candidate in the coming presidential election.”