The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, took a new dimension as the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu, met with Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and some PDP governors in London, on Monday night.
Vanguard was reliably informed that Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, his Abia State counterpart, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, and other PDP stalwarts loyal to Wike attended the meeting.
Vanguard had reported yesterday that Governor Wike and some of his allies travelled out of the country for what was described as a critical meeting on their political future.
The team, which comprised some PDP governors and other major personalities in Wike’s camp, were said to have left the country at the weekend, after the flag-off of new projects by the governor in Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.
Governor Wike had been engaged in a cold war with his party over his defeat at the PDP presidential primary and ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s choice of a running mate.
He recently gave the party some conditions for an amicable resolution of the crisis and is currently at loggerheads with other top party faithful in his state opposed to his antics.
Also recall that a reconciliation committee set up to end the frosty relationship between Atiku and Wike met last week, though no concrete resolution was reached.
Tinubu meets Wike, others in London
A reliable source privy to the meeting told Vanguard that the gathering centred on the need for the Wike camp to support Tinubu’s presidential ambition.
The source said: “It is true that there was a meeting where Tinubu met with Wike, Makinde and Ikpeazu. The meeting was held on Monday night, it was not in France, it was in London.
‘’The meeting had to do with Wike and his camp staying in PDP, causing crisis in PDP and asking his supporters to work for APC. Asiwaju is coming back today (yesterday) or tomorrow morning (today).”
Another source, who confirmed the London meeting, said: “I know Tinubu and Wike’s team went for a meeting outside the country. What I know is Atiku will go ahead without Wike.
‘’From what I know, if the internal crisis is not resolved, Wike will be an albatross. I know some leaders are confusing Atiku not to work with Wike but that is dangerous for the progress of the party.
“If they want the PDP to win in 2023, Ayu must resign and if he does that, it will help the party. If Ayu resigns today, the PDP crisis will be over but Ayu has insisted that he won’t resign because of his four-year mandate.
‘’The likes of Uche Secondus will not want the crisis to be over, Austin Opara, who was denied ticket will not want the crisis resolved.”
Wike underrating North, playing anti-party politics—Atiku’s camp
Meanwhile, some allies in the Atiku camp, yesterday, met in Abuja to chart a way forward and seek a quick resolution to the internal wrangling within the party.
A top PDP leader in Atiku’s camp, who pleaded anonymity, said Wike was underrating the capacity of the North, insisting that the party wouldn’t dismantle its leadership because of the Rivers governor.
The source, who was present at the meeting, said: “We will not dismantle our leadership structure at this stage because of Wike. What does he want? The South has the Vice President in PDP.
‘’Isn’t that fair enough? If they are saying the South must produce the President, it shouldn’t be the West but the Southeast in the spirit of equity. Unfortunately, he has Ortom, Makinde and Ikpeazu with him.
‘’Ortom is with him for economic reasons. Makinde, like Wike, has succeeded in offending PDP leaders in Oyo. He has stepped on many toes. If he’s not careful, his re-election may not be possible. He will only win, if APC fields an unpopular candidate.
“Wike can’t kill PDP. Where was he in 1999? He is underrating the North. He doesn’t know the North is taking note of his utterances and actions. And they will pay him in their way.
‘’We are not giving in to his selfish demand. What does he want? He is already playing anti-party but we won’t move against him because we want peace.”