PDP: Why Wike shunned high level reconciliation meeting
By PHC Telegraph
Ex-governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike who ran Rivers State for eight years on the platform of the PDP was unavoidably absent at a high level meeting called by the leadership.
His non appearance at the interactive meeting at a time when many were already looking forward to a handshake between him and Atiku Abubakar has become a subject of serious conversation and deep interpretation.
No reason has however emanated from Port Harcourt on why the leader of the G5 who is undisputably the strongman of Rivers politics was absent at the meeting.
Recall that the G5, a group of fiercely loyal PDP members angered by the sinister attempt on the part of some persons to hijack the party had worked in the open against the success of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar during the presidential elections.
Insiders suggest that a cat and mouse game is taking place within the Peoples Democratic Party.
While the party is hoping to lure ex-governor Wike and his friends back to the fold, Nyesom Wike may not have completely overcome what is seen in some circles as the wide gulf which exists between him and some members of the PDP led by Atiku and Iyorchia Ayu.
Wike alleged early in the week in Port Harcourt during a family thanksgiving service which held at St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Rumuepirikom Deanery that he was poisoned in 2018 at a PDP meeting.
Although he called no name in particular, Shaibu who acts as one of Atiku Abubakar ’s spokesmen has reacted, saying Wike’s love for whisky instead of an act of poisoning was responsible for his condition in 2018.
”Let me speak about the party”, Wike said of the PDP, “The acting National Chairman is a man in whom I’m well pleased in. I’m a member of the National Working Committee
“Please, you have promised to do well, let things work well. I didn’t do anything wrong, what I did is to let Nigeria to be one and united.
“Don’t treat me like an outcast, I still love my party so much and I will not leave the party to any other party in Nigeria. What I fought for is equity, fairness, and justice.”
It is not clear if the experience which landed him at a Beirut hospital had anything to do with the decision by Wike to ditch the meeting of the PDP.
A source hinted, “Wike may be increasingly careful not to get into any kind of face-off or understanding with the PDP at this time.
“Such a move analysts also reckon may compromise Wike’s world view, especially on national issues.”
Thus far, Wike has been talking about Nigeria and shunning narrow, parochial or partisan influences.
No doubt, the fight between ex-governor Wike and Atiku Abubakar has terribly hurt the PDP establishment.
As things are, the party has been so divided and unable to stand together.
Prior to the inauguration of the National Assembly and the selection of officers, the bitter rivalry between camps led by Atiku and Wike again reopened.
While the former governor aligned with the ruling APC and President Bola Tinubu to produce the leadership of the red and green chambers, Atiku and others who tried to rally the opposition to dump the plan of the APC failed miserably.
To rub more salt into the injury suffered by Atiku and his allies, Wike who is being hailed by many Nigerians as the hero of the 2023 general elections ensured that Rep. O.K. Chindah, a fine Rivers lawmaker from Obio/Akpor Local Government Area emerged as the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.
Party leaders led by Senator Damagun, Acting National Chairman of the PDP who were spotted in the Rivers capital, Port Harcourt on Sunday, we have learnt through credible sources, had hoped the Rivers strong man whose star is up would make it to the meeting called to find a way forward.
No less than 180 PDP heavyweights drawn from different parts of the country were expected to attend the meeting designed among other things to set the tempo for reconciliation within the fold.
Addressing those who honoured the invitation issued by the party, Senator Damagun profusely thanked them for retaining their belief in the unity of the opposition party.
He spoke of the high expectations that most Nigerians have of the PDP, urged members to sink their differences and said the time to put the PDP family together is now.
Damagun urged party leaders in far-flung parts of the country to be careful of what they say about one another and how they act.
The former Rivers Governor despite the hype in the mass media that he would come face to face with Atiku was conspicuously absent at the gathering.
Umar Bature, Secretary of the PDP, captured the basic reason for the interactive meeting held in Abuja, the Federal Capital.
“I welcome all of us to this meeting. It is the first meeting after the general election. We carefully and deliberately called for this meeting to in a way, douse the pressure or tension within the party as a result of the aftermath of the 2023 elections.
“This party believes that Atiku Abubakar won the election but we are in court and without prejudice to what the court will decide, we will keep it aside.
“Let me acknowledge that this meeting is not a NEC meeting but an interactive meeting with the aim to jump-start a reconciliation process”, Bature remarked.
“We are here today and everyone knows what happened in 2023. We contributed both individually and collectively.
“If you rise to speak, I beg you to spell out your own role in the 2023 elections, either positive or negative before you jump to accuse someone else” Bature implored members who were in attendance.
He added, “Everybody had a role to play. When you rise to speak, please, tell us the role you played.. .
“The aim is when we are through, we will have an idea of what to do with the party before we move to other organs like the national caucus, National Executive Council NEC, for the way forward for the party.
“I believe there is hope for the party because our membership is still very strong.”
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