BY IKECHUKWU AGADA
The peace talks between the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP’s) Presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike have finally broken down, multiple party sources said yesterday.
The collapse of the reconciliation moves was sealed with the appointment of Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal as the Director General of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council.
It is also clear that only Oyo State chapter of the PDP remains committed to the agitation for the resignation of Dr. Iyorchia Ayu as national chairman of the party following categorical statements by party officials in Lagos, Ekiti, Ogun, Ondo and Oyo states that they are for Atiku and Ayu.
Although Atiku picked Wike and some of the governor’s allies as members of the Presidential Campaign Council, the Wike camp yesterday decided to draw the battle line by opting not to play any key role in the party’s campaign.
The parties are allowed, under the regulations issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to commence their campaigns on Wednesday, September 28.
It was learnt that Wike’s camp has started weighing options on its next line of action.
It was gathered that the first step is to stop Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde from accepting to be part of the Atiku Campaign to enable him face his re-election bid.
One source said that on his part, Atiku is yet to give up on winning over Wike.
The PDP flag bearer, it was gathered, sent ex-Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose to Wike and his team recently to “forgive and forget” whatever might have caused their feud.
The National Executive Committee (NEC) of our great Party at its 97th meeting extensively deliberated on issues of urgent national importance as well as the preparation of our Party for the 2023 general elections and resolved as follows:
1. NEC unanimously passed a vote of confidence on the National Working Committee (NWC) led by Sen. Dr. Iyorchia Ayu for effectively managing the affairs of the Party and restated its confidence in the NWC to lead the PDP to victory in the 2023 general elections.
2. NEC received and accepted the resignation of the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Sen. Walid Jibrin and accepted the nomination of Sen. Adolphus Wabara, the Secretary of the BoT, as Acting Chairman of the BoT.
3. NEC thanked Sen. Jibrin for his loyalty and commitment towards the unity, stability and success of the Party at all times and urged him not to relent in his service to the Party and the Nation at large.
4. NEC congratulated the Party as well as the Osun State Governor-Elect, Sen. Ademola Adeleke for our victory in the July 16, 2022 Osun Governorship election
5. NEC commended the NWC, the Board of Trustees, PDP Governors’ Forum, National Assembly Caucus, Zonal and State Caucuses, other leaders, critical stakeholders and all organs of the Party for the successful conduct of the 2022 National Convention as well as all primaries for the election of our candidates for the 2023 General Elections.
6. NEC unanimously ratified the list of candidates of the PDP as submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by the NWC.
7. NEC congratulated H.E Atiku Abubakar and H.E Ifeanyi Okowa on their emergence as Presidential and the Vice Presidential Candidates of the PDP for the 2023 Presidential election, respectively.
8. NEC also congratulated all the Governorship, Senatorial, House of Representatives and State House of Assembly Candidates of the PDP for their emergence as flagbearers of our Party at various levels.
9. NEC commended all leaders, members, critical stakeholders and supporters of our Party across the country for their continued steadfastness in the PDP’s mission to Rescue, Rebuild and Redirect our nation from the nightmarish misrule of the failed APC.
State of The Nation:
10. NEC strongly decried the worsening state of the nation’s economy with attendant excruciating hardship occasioned by the corruption, insensitivity, incompetence and harsh economic policies of the inhumane and vicious APC.
11. NEC is also appalled by the worsening insecurity in the country occasioned by the obvious complicity of the APC administration which continues to condone and enable acts of terrorism in various parts of the country.
12. NEC lamented the failure of the APC government to address the industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). NEC lamented that the APC is relishing the agony, pain and suffering of parents and students in Nigerian public universities due to the prolonged strike action.
13. NEC condemned the constant display of arrogance by the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu in handling the issue of ASUU strike and called for a more constructive engagement by stakeholders to resolve the matter.
14. NEC also condemned in the strongest terms the appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari of card-carrying members of the APC as INEC Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs).
This unpatriotic act is a brazen plot by the APC to manipulate and rig the 2023 general elections against the Will of Nigerians. The PDP demands that President Buhari immediately withdraws the APC members nominated as RECs, failure of which has the capacity to trigger serious political crisis that can threaten the 2023 general elections and derail our democratic process
15. NEC approved a unified campaign Structures across the country for the PDP for the 2023 general elections which will focus more on the grass root.
Fayose was reportedly rebuffed by some loyalists and strategists of Wike.
The alleged penetration of Fayose was seen by Atiku’s group as a breakthrough to break Wike’s camp.
A Northern governor, who has been with Wike all along, is now believed to have perfected plans to shift to Atiku’s group soon.
Investigation by our correspondent revealed that Wike, who visited Abuja on Friday, had a session with some of his backers.
It was agreed that Atiku was yet to meet the minimum conditions for reconciliation with Wike.
A top source in Wike’s camp said: “The appointment of Tambuwal (another Northerner) as the Campaign DG has sent a message that Atiku doesn’t want inclusion in the party.
“The PDP candidate wants to do it alone. He is saying that our camp is insignificant. The poll outcome will determine his assumption.
“We feel that Atiku has drawn the battle line but we will wait for the leaders of the group to decide. We are weighing many options. We wish him well.
Responding to a question, the source added: “Atiku made another desperate effort in the week when he sent Fayose to speak with Wike’s camp.
He gave Fayose the mandate in Ibadan but we smelt a rat. We rebuffed Fayose’s overtures because Atiku was trying to break Wike’s ranks.
“We know we have two characters in our camp. One governor is the weakest link and another member is unstable. We will overcome any obstacle to prove to Atiku that we are not children.”
As at press time, it was gathered that Wike’s camp was seeking to prevail on Governor Makinde to steer clear of the PDP PCC because of his re-election bid.
Another source added: “Makinde’s choice was designed to pacify Wike’s camp, but it is a booby trap because it will distract him from his second term campaign.
“Also, in the history of election in Nigeria, first term governors or political office holders usually appointed as Campaign DG often lose second term ticket.
“We have advised Makinde to reject the offer and concentrate on winning the election for his second term. It is left to him to accept or reject the advice.”