Governors Seyi Makinde and Samuel Ortom reportedly attended the meeting with Wike.
The Presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Tinubu and Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.
The lingering crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) continues to worsen as Bola Tinubu, the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State held a meeting in London.
Contrary to reports that the duo met in France, a leader of one of the Tinubu Support groups disclosed to this writer that the meeting held in London on Monday, August 22, 2022.
The source also disclosed that Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State attended the meeting.
Wike has been at loggerheads with the opposition party leaders since he lost the presidential primary election to former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar in May.
The situation was further compounded when Atiku picked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State as his running mate against the recommendations of the party’s chieftains who suggested Wike as the party’s VP candidate.
Meanwhile, PDP leaders have made efforts to appease Wike to no avail. Instead, the aggrieved governor has been making moves to spite his party’s leadership.
Since the crisis started, Wike has openly fraternised with the chieftains of the ruling APC and the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi.
L-R: Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike; Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi; Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu; and Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu at a meeting of the Southern Governors’ Forum
Wike’s meeting with Tinubu: However, on Monday, Wike, who is believed to be one of the strongest PDP leaders in the country was in London to meet Tinubu, the former governor of Lagos State.
According to Daily Trust, issues revolving around Tinubu’s presidential aspirations were extensively discussed at the meeting.
Describing the meeting as fruitful, a source in Tinubu’s campaign council, who spoke to the newspaper said the meeting was attended by six persons, three from each side.
From the PDP camp, Governors Samuel Ortom of Benue State and Seyi Makinde of Oyo State attended the meeting with Wike, while Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his Ekiti State counterpart, Kayode Fayemi, joined Tinubu to represent the APC.
The conversation of the politicians was said to have been predicated on whether Wike should leave the PDP or remain in the opposition party and work for the APC in the presidential election.
PDP’s Worry: It is believed that the PDP leadership is worried about Governor Wike’s romance with the APC.
A source who spoke to The Punch said Wike and some people in the PDP, want to ensure that power returns to the south in 2023.
The source said, “I’m certain people are worried that Asiwaju is romancing Wike. There is a reason for it. All I know is that there is a southern connection to ensure the presidency does not slip out of our hands after eight years of Northern rule.
“That’s why even Governor Seyi Makinde turned down the offer to become Atiku’s campaign Director-General. This is because for Makinde, accepting to lead such a campaign for a Northern candidate has an implication for him. He knows that himself hence the need to be very careful. ’The presidential election is still five months away. The political manoeuvring must begin now.’’
Denials: But, while sources have confirmed the presence of Sanwo-Olu and Makinde at Tinubu-Wike’s meeting in London, the governors’ spokespersons said the governors did not participate in the meeting.
According to the Chief Press Secretary to the Oyo State governor, Mr Taiwo Adisa, “The governor is on leave and he properly handed over to the deputy governor, who is now the acting governor.”
On his part, the Chief Press Secretary to the Lagos State Governor, Mr Gboyega Akosile, told The Punch that Sanwo-Olu did not travel out of the country.
He said, “No, he didn’t travel out. That is a mere rumour. Just two days ago we had an event, and calling him today, he is in town. If you call his number now it would ring.”
But a reliable source in the state disclosed to the newspaper that the Sanwo-Olu that Sanwo-Olu traveled out two days ago but had returned to the state.