…says ex-VP didn’t meet Rivers Gov last week
- No promise of presidency to Wike In 2027 –Bwala
The campaign team of former Vice President and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, yesterday accused the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike of trying to create a crisis between the South East and the South South Regions. That was over the news that Atiku met with the Rivers State governor Wike. It was reported that at the alleged meeting, Atiku had promised to hand over to Wike in 2027.
That was even as Delta State Governor and Vice Presidential candidate of the party, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, said that Atiku was well prepared for the job.
Okowa spoke yesterday, when he received members of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT) who were on reconciliation mission.
Wike had fallen out with Atiku and the PDP after the candidate by-passed him in preference to Okowa, as vice presidential candidate.
The duo met in London about two months ago, and Wike insisted that the PDP National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, who is from the same region with Atiku, must cede his position to a southerner, as a condition for him to support the party’s presidential candidate in next year’s election. But Atiku is not ready to yield to his demand.
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Last Thursday, some National Working Committee (NWC) members, mostly from the South, refunded monies paid to their accounts by the party leadership, alleging that it was meant to compromise them. It was believed they were induced to do so.
The news making the round was that Atiku on Thursday met with Wike and promised to hand over to him as Nigeria president in 2027, if he supports him to win next year’s presidential election.
But Daniel Bwala, one of his campaign spokespersons, said nothing is farther from the truth.
Bwala said in an interview that the PDP presidential candidate did not meet with the governor, nor made any promise to him.
“I saw a story trending that Waziri (Atiku) promised to handover to Wike or make him president 2027. I hope you know that is one of the strategies to detract us from focus on the campaign,” he stated.
According to him, the PDP candidate was in Yola, Adamawa State that same Thursday, and moved to Gombe, Gombe State, on yesterdayFriday.
“So, there is no evidence that he met with Wike or talked to Wike.
“I know it is a strategy they are using, because when we went to Enugu few days ago, we have a massive turnout and he assured Igbo people that he is going to be a ladder, a platform for the actualisation the Igbo presidency,” he noted.
Bwala said those flying the news want to create frictions between “the Igbo and probably people from the South-South.”
Already, people from the South East are reading meaning into the alleged promise Atiku made to Wike.
Okowa, who spoke to journalists after the meeting with the BoT members, said that the PDP governors are working towards resolving the crisis in the party.
“We are talking amongst ourselves as governors, realising that there are several leaders within our party from across the country. We have been talking with ourselves.
“Last Tuesday, on the 27th, we were in the South East. Our brother, the governor of Enugu State, hosted us very well. That’s a very positive step forward. We had very useful interactions with all our leaders in the South East and I think that is a great plus for us as a party.
“And I believe too that you are aware, too that we were in the South West where we were very well received by Governor Seyi Makinde and the stakeholders of the party,” he said.
The governor, however, accepted that there were some issues yet to be resolved, but expressed confidence that “in the next few days, we are convinced that will be largely reconciled.
“Governors and other members, who are aggrieved are members of the party. I believe that my brothers would all work for the party. PDP is home and they belong to that home. They are not going to destroy their home. I do believe that we will continue to talk with ourselves and resolve the little issues that are left.”
The vice presidential candidate said Nigeria is in a difficult situation, and therefore needed someone, who has the capability and capacity of rescuing it.
“The country has never been as divided as this. The level of insecurity has not been this bad.
“Our economy is worst hit; we have never gone this bad. When you look at the issues of education, look at the state of affairs in the various states, there are obvious issues. Atiku is the only one who is best positioned to truly deal with the issues of Nigeria at the moment.
“We don’t want those who are going to come to the office to learn on the job, because we are in a critical position. So, we need a man, who has the experience, who also has the level of humility and calmness, who is detribalised and ready to keep Nigeria together.
“I believe that Atiku Abubakar is the answer to Nigeria. He has committed himself very clearly in his document to Nigeria ‘My Covenant with Nigerians’.
“Atiku is the man that is prepared for the job. He is not going to learn on the job and he is one man that is acceptable across the six geo-political zones of this nation.
“There is no other person that has the kind of credentials that he has. Atiku is the right person. Nigerians should think deeply and let us be guided that we need to work collectively to take Nigeria out of the decay that we have found ourselves,” he said.
Acting Chairman of the BOT, Senator Adolphus Wabara, said the BoT members have met with most of the PDP members, and are planning to meet with Atiku and Wike, towards resolving the crisis in the party.
“The committee is enlightened now on the issues and we are moving forward. In the coming days, we will also meet with the principal, the presidential candidate, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar and from there we will proceed to meet with Governor Wike.
“We have met with some other governors. We have met with Governor Samuel Ortom, Governor Seyi Makinde, , Governor Ahmadu Fintri, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State.
“We have what it takes to resolve this, and very soon we will resolve all these issues,” Wabara stated.