The BoT was said to have concluded at the reconciliation meeting yesterday that the demands by Wike’s camp were unrealistic.
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Nyesom Wike.
The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) remains unresolved as the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT) failed to settle the disagreement between Atiku Abubakar and Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike.
Before the reconciliation meeting Wike’s supporters’ had demanded the resignation of the party’s National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu as part of the conditions for peace.
But the Board of Trustees (BoT) rejected the demand during the reconciliation meeting held at the PDP national secretariat in Abuja on Wednesday, August 3, 2022.
Wike’s Argument: The demand for Ayu’s resignation by Wike’s camp was predicated on the ‘agreement’ that the party chairman would step down if a Northerner emerged as the party’s presidential candidate.
The camp argued that both the presidential flag bearer of the party and the national chairman cannot come from the same region.
Wike’s Demand Dismissed: But a source who spoke to TheNation on the matter said the BoT dismissed the demand by Wike’s camp saying it was unrealistic.
The BoT was also said to have concluded that the demand could only be met if Atiku wins the 2023 presidential election.
How the Crisis Started: Recall that the crisis in the opposition started shortly after Atiku, the party’s presidential candidate allegedly rejected Wike and picked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State as his running mate.
Wike who came second in the party’s presidential primary in May was recommended by the panel set up to suggest a running mate for Atiku, but the former Vice President preferred Okowa.
In his interview with Arise TV, Atiku explained that he picked Okowa because he wanted someone that could work with him amicably.
However, since Okowa emerged as Atiku’s choice, Wike and his supporters have ostensibly withdrawn their support for the Atiku/Okowa ticket.
Also, some of the PDP members in Wike’s camp did not attend the reconciliation meeting yesterday.
According to TheNation, the few who attended drew the attention of the party leaders to the that the presidential ticket and two key leadership positions are being held by the North.
“The presidential ticket holder, the national chairman and BoT chairman are all from the North.
“Atiku is from Northeast, Ayu is from Northcentral and the BoT chair is also from Northcentral,” one of them was quoted to have said.
Comments from PDP Members: Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Senator Abdul Ningi said the conflict between Atiku and Wike remained unresolved.
He said, “We discussed the crisis between our presidential candidate and Wike. In getting it resolved, we set up a committee of the whole to urgently interface with the two of them.
“We have set up in this meeting a committee of the BoT to interface between warring factions, particularly the acrimony that is taking place between the presidential candidate and Wike and any other conflict that is taking place in the nation within our party formation.
“The committee is the committee of the whole, that means every BoT member is a member of the committee. I cannot tell you the grievances and the time frame.
“On Ayu stepping down, we have not even discussed any issue of anybody stepping down. What we discussed is what I have told you.”
Also commenting on the meeting yesterday, another party member, Adakole Ijoki, while featuring on Channels Politics Today said Atiku mismanaged the situation that led to the rift between him and Wike.
“When it comes to the resignation of the chairman of our party, my view is simple.
“When you look at the way the PDP is structured currently, the chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum is from the North, Sokoto. The Presidential candidate is from the North, Adamawa.
“The National Chairman of the party is from the North, Benue. The Board of Trustees chairman is from the North, Nasarrawa. These are issues that the PDP will have to resolve.
“The party is thinking about correcting and reinventing itself to win the elections and for inclusion of every member of the party. Talks are currently going on as far as that is concerned,” he said.
He said it was unfair to make people believe that the crisis was about Wike.