Hopes of reconciliation within the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), seem to have evaporated into thin air as indications have emerged that the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike and the party’s Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, may have resolved to go their separate ways ahead of the forthcoming general elections.
Findings conducted by Saturday Telegraph revealed that while Atiku has commenced moves to mitigate what the impact of a likely Wike non-commitment would mean for his votes in the state, Wike on the other hand has commenced fence mending efforts aimed at reconciling with political foes in the state.
Sources within the party in different telephone chats maintained that recent actions of Wike against some members of the PDP in the state believed to be supporting Atiku is indicative of the posture of the Rivers State governor to both the party and its presidential candidate.
“You don’t need anyone to tell you that the major reason the Rivers State House of Assembly derecognized Sir Celestine Omehia as a former governor of the state is to show clearly that he is no longer in tune with the Rivers State governor,” a top source within the Lagos State chapter of the PDP told one of our correspondents.
The source, a former South West zonal executive committee of the party, added that “we have it on good authority that Wike is charting his own path and looking for new allies wherever they can be. He doesn’t even mind forging alliance with the devil as we speak now to guarantee his political survival.” Sensing that Atiku has moved in to mop up Wike’s support base, the Rivers State governor is said to have reached out to his former boss and immediate past governor of the state, Chibuike Amaechi.
As a token of friendship, he has dropped all the graft charges against the former transportation minister, and the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Tonye Cole. With the seeming humiliation meted out to Omehia, a one-time governor of the state, other PDP leaders such as Prince Uche Secondus the immediate past national chairman of the PDP and a former Deputy Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Austin Opara, and scores of other leaders are not taking things lightly in their quest to deliver the state to Atiku. Apart from the two, other leaders supporting Atiku include a former minister of transport, Dr. Abiye Sekibo and Senator Lee Maeba. Secondus, who was recently appointed by Atiku as the technical adviser to his presidential campaign, is believed to be leading the Atiku onslaught in the state.
A source close to anti- Wike group told our correspondent that Secondus and his foot soldiers have been having a series of meetings in Abuja, the nation’s capital, to fashion out a way to “scale through the hurdles mounted by Wike in Rivers.” The source added that “Secondus and other PDP leaders that have fallen out with Governor Wike in Rivers know that they have to deliver votes for Atiku whether Ayu resigns or not. And they know that it is not going to be an easy task to accomplish. That is why they have been holding meetings in Abuja for a successful outcome.”
The source added that Atiku allies have “been silently, but effectively campaigning” against Sir Sim Fubara, the party’s governorship candidate in the state. When contacted, one of the spokesmen for the PDP Presidential Campaign Council, Mr. Daniel Bwala told our correspondent that the party and his principal are making efforts to bring the governor and his supporters back into the fold. (Saturday Telegraph)