Members of a committee created by the Peoples Democratic Party’s 2023 presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar and Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, as part of the framework for the resolution of their differences, met in Port Harcourt for over four hours on Friday, without achieving the desired reconciliation.
Wike has been at loggerheads with Atiku ever since the PDP candidate declined to pick him as his running mate for the 2023 election and instead, named Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State. The Rivers governor had earlier contested the presidential ticket of the party and lost to Atiku.
Former Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko, who led Wike’s team to the meeting held at Government House, Port Harcourt, came out saying, “This is a reconciliation process, there are some issues out there which need further deliberation when the committees meet again.”
Though, Mimiko did not disclose the main issue drawing back the reconciliation, sources said the insistence of Wike’s team that the national Chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu, must step down before any reconciliation can commence, remains a big issue.
Atiku’s camp was represented by Governor of Adamawa State, Ahmadu Fintiri; Hon. Adamu Waziri and Hon. Eyitayo Jegede.
Those on Governor Wike’s team were former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoki; Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State; former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke; former Governor of Gombe State, Dr. Ibrahim Dankwambo and Mimiko.
Addressing journalists at the end of the meeting, Fintiri stated that talks were ongoing to achieve the desired objectives.
This, he opined, is in cognisance of the fact that Nigerians were waiting patiently for the PDP to wrest power from the ruling All Progressives Congress in 2023, and redeem the country from the bad governance brought about by the current federal government.
He urged Nigerians to be patient and expressed optimism that at the end of the day the committee would broker peace, unify the party and Nigerians.
“At the end of the day, we will broker peace and we will unify the party and Nigerians.”
Also speaking, Mimiko noted the agreement by members of the committee to bring about unity in the party would be achieved soon
Mimiko hinted that the committee would meet again to further deliberate on issues that need to be addressed.
“We have agreed that there is a need for us to enhance unity within our party,” he said.
Members of the committee later met with Wike at his private residence in Rumueprikom, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state.
Atiku and Wike had agreed to constitute the committee at a meeting they held in Abuja a few weeks ago at the residence of a former Minister of Information and National Orientation, Prof. Jerry Gana, as part of the framework for the resolution of their differences.
Previous efforts by PDP stakeholders and elders to resolve the Atiku/Wike crisis proved abortive, fueling speculations that Wike may support a presidential candidate from another party in the 2023 election.
Gana Begs Wike
In a related development, a former minister of information, Jerry Gana, on Friday asked Wike to put away the disappointment of the past and look to the future when he will become Nigeria’s president.
Gana spoke during the flag-off of a flyover in the Obio-Akpor area of Rivers State.
Making reference to the PDP crisis, Gana appealed to Wike to stay in the party and not relent on his commitment to the PDP.