Anxiety has gripped PDP members as well as their fellow country men who are waiting to see whether the party will be able to overcome obstacles currently facing it as the Wike and Atiku camps get ready for peace talks.
So far, peace has remained elusive as the PDP struggles to heal wounds that have been largely self inflicted.
Although there were initial disagreements over the venue of the proposed meeting, with some interests insisting on Port Harcourt and Abuja respectively, there have been strong moves, particularly by the Board of Trustees of the party, to ensure that talks get off to a good start.
The last meeting scheduled to hold in Port Harcourt which was expected to address differences between the Atiku camp and the Wike team was put off at the last moment due to an engagement involving Atiku in Yola.
Atiku, which way for the PDP?
Many in the PDP are getting increasingly worried that attempts at forging a common front have been rather slow and weak.
Some, according to our findings, are already showing concerns over what they say is the seeming inability of the Presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to take the lead in finding solutions to PDP’s many intractable problems.
“How can a social outing in Adamawa, Atiku’s home state, be more important to Atiku and his henchmen than holding reconciliatory talks”, a chieftain of the PDP asked in a chat with the Port Harcourt Telegraph.
“It only proves that Atiku who has everything to gain if peace returns and everything to lose if the unity of the party shatters does not appreciate the enormity of the problem facing the PDP at this time”, the chieftain who spoke ananimously remarked.
The Port Harcourt Telegraph Telegraph understands that insiders in the Atiku camp, including serving Governors are miffed by the way the presidential candidate is handling the matter of reconciliation.
Some PDP governors associated with the Atiku camp, it has been reported, allegedly stayed away from the Yola event held in honour of the Presidential candidate.
According to information which emanated after the event, apart from Governor Ahmadu Fintiri who hosted the event, only Ifeanyi Okowa who is the running mate was the only governor who attended.
This is being interpreted to mean that some PDP Governors who are prime supporters of the candidate are becoming unhappy over Atiku’s perceived reluctance to embrace moves by party leaders to ensure that peace with the Wike team is achieved.
Governor Nyesom Wike.
Whereas the Atiku team is pursuing a smear campaign strategy which is trying to portray Governor Nyesom Wike as the problem because of what they say his loss of the primaries and the vice presidential ticket, public attention is progressively shifting in the direction of the case that Wike and his friends are making.
They are insisting and many across the country are beginning to agree, that given the way offices in the party are stacked, the South has been grossly short changed.
They are saying that the PDP has transformed into a northern political platform instead of a national party which guarantees the interest of all.
Chairman of PDP’s BoT, Walid Jibril (North)
Chairman of the PDP, Iyorchia Ayu (North)
Presidential flag-bearer, Atiku Abubakar (North)
There are indeed visible imbalances that most broad minded Nigerians, including public analysts, are openly identifying at this time.
All the important positions from the Chairman of the BoT, the National Chairman of the PDP to the Presidential ticket are controlled by the North.
Wike and his associates are arguing that these imbalances weighted against the South, rather than the pursuit of personal gain as Atiku and his men are alleging, are at the centre of their demand that the North most make certain concessions.
Accordingly, they are asking for Iyorchia Ayu, National Chairman of the PDP, to relinquish his position in the interest of the party among other things.
As the two sides meet today, Friday the 19th of August, 2022, the core issue of what to do about the protection of core Southern interests will be on the table.
Governor Nyesom Wike and all the governors who are with him have vowed not to leave the party.
This is seen as an offer made in good faith; an offer which suggests that they are committed to the well being of the party.
When the conversation begins, if indeed it will hold, representatives of both sides would be expected to place national and party interests far above any other consideration.
Atiku had nominated Governor Fintiri as the head of the delegation to the talks.
He will be joined by Alhaji Sule Lamido, Senator Ben Obi, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), and Senator Liyel Imoke among others.
On the Wike side would be former Ondo Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, Chief David Mark, one-time Senate President, ex-Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo, ex-Governor Donald Duke, Mohammed Adoke (SAN) and Soji Adeniji among others.
From every indication, today’s meeting will make or mar the future of the PDP.
Recall that the poor handling of crisis prior to the 2015 election led to the defeat of the PDP in the presidential election.
Five Governors, it will be recalled, exited the party and teamed up with those who founded the APC to kick the PDP out of power at the centre.
Whereas the APC has not been able to make good use of the mandate that it received freely from the Nigerian masses, many here hope that history will not repeat.
They pray that reason will prevail as the search for peace within the party continues.
Will Atiku and his associates see reason? Will they stop acting like conquerors and allow an acceptable settlement of the conflict to be reached?
Four demands have been put forward by the Wike camp as negotiating teams get ready to go to work.
As they prepare to engage, two political parties, the APC and Labour, would be monitoring developments from their end.
Fall outs from the proposed meeting in the PDP might point to the future not just of the PDP but for the entire country.
Strategists in Labour and the APC would be hoping that talks in the PDP are deadlocked.
Will the PDP allow this to happen? That will be the question that many anxious Nigerians will be waiting for an answer to.
The Port Harcourt Telegraph will be monitoring the proposed meeting and will bring details of its outcome to readers.
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