… Rivers Governor shuns meeting

Unfolding events in the PDP indicate that these are not very good times for the Rivers Governor.

The party’s establishment, given what looks like the situation on ground, appears to be uncomfortable with Barrister Nyesom Wike.

Already, Wike is threatening to stay out of high level party meetings, a move which political observers see as a evidence of growing suspicion, and possibly anger in Port Harcourt.

It is equally being viewed in some circles as a signal that the Rivers Governor who is slightly aggressive and unpredictable might be losing out in the power game.

It is not clear how Wike has managed to offend most top leaders, whose understanding he needs for whatever he seeks to achieve within the party.

But there appears to be a gang up that is seemingly putting Prince Uche Secondus one step ahead of the Rivers Governor in the fight for the soul of the party.

Many PDP members fear Wike is trying hard to control the party. Thereafter, they allege, one man would go on to dictate the future direction of the party.

It may be unfounded, but power brokers who are watching Wike’s dance steps say they cannot afford to trust him completely.

Friday, Secondus resurfaced at the National Secretariat of the PDP and took his seat in the Chairman’s office just as the Board of Trustees, BoT, was getting ready for its meeting.

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Outside the building, as PDP leaders streamed in, placard carrying party members gathered at Wadata House, chanting pro – Secondus slogans.

A Kebbi High Court had ordered Secondus on Thursday to return to his position as the National Chairman of the PDP.

The order from Kebbi came after a Judge in the Degema Division of the Rivers High Court  had asked Wike’s prime opponent in the fight for the control of the soul of the PDP not to parade as the chairman.

Our survey shows that support for Total Chair as Secondus is widely described in PDP circles is soaring despite moves that Wike and his political base are making to throw him out.

Some powerful forces are even pushing Secondus to run another tenure as National Chairman of the PDP.

“We will show this man something”, a member of the PDP in the State said to the PORT HARCOURT TELEGRAPH, “Wike thinks he can takeover the PDP. He says he likes to fight. Now, the fight has actually started at the national. Soon, it will get here.”

Our findings suggest that among PDP governors, Wike’s popularity is waning too.

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Within the PDP Governors Forum, Wike does not appear to have more than two colleagues that are actively supporting him.

Governor Makinde and Governor Ortom seem at this time to be the most outstanding supporters of Wike left within the PDPGF, according to what we have heard.

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The reason is that many Governors in the PDP are of the view that what Wike did in dragging Secondus to court after their intervention, was an affront.

The same feeling appears to be running through the veins of members of the BoT.

Recall that Wike was dubbed as “Father Christmas” in the presence of BoT members.

Those aligned to the camp that Wike belongs are not comfortable with the idea of Secondus organizing the National Convention.

This and other reasons, we have learnt, influenced the tactical strike which was intended to paralyze Uche Secondus and the PDP, relying on the court option.

The fight, if utmost care is not taken may deter the PDP from hosting its National Convention towards the end of October.

But PDP leaders are not resting on their oars. Peace efforts are being intensified.

While Atiku Abubakar rubbed minds with the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki on matters of great interest a few days ago, Bukola Saraki a former Senate President visited Governor Sam Ortom in Abuja.

Ortom and Saraki who emerged after their meeting expressed confidence that differences within the party would be quickly nipped in the bud.

Atiku who lent his voice at another venue said the PDP’s conflict resolution mechanism has been activated to deal with threats to party unity.

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In the meantime, the BoT of the PDP has met in Abuja amidst strong disagreements.

Although Prince Uche Secondus arrived the party Secretariat, at least to enjoy the fruit of his labour, he however did not attend the seesion of the BoT.

The Deputy National Chairman South, Yemi Akinwonmi who has received endorsements from the BoT and NWC despite pockets of opposition  in some quarters to his nomination sat in the chair reserved for the Chairman.

Details of a letter cited by the Acting National Chairman, and the response that may have come after BoT members saw the letter are being kept away from the public domain.

Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal who heads the PDP Governors Forum, PDPGF, acknowledged that intense conversations are going on to put a stop to the crisis.

He revealed that a body of party elders led by former Senate President, Senator David Mark have been mandated to reach out to the warring parties.

As part of the peace mission, they are expected to encourage all who are in court to withdraw their matters and allow room for settlement.

Incidentally, Wike and Secondus hail from Rivers State. As a young army officer, Mark served in Port Harcourt. He is believed to have strong ties with  top Rivers politicians.