The Peoples Democratic Party appears to be headed toward self-destruction one month after former vice president Atiku Abubakar won the nomination for president.
It should be recalled that Atiku became the front-runner after Aminu Tambuwal abruptly withdrew, a decision that infuriated Governor Nyesom Wike and his supporters.
“I’ve just decided that our party can’t be ruined. Without your permission, this convention cannot proceed and I would have stood up from where I was sitting. Some days after the convention, Wike had said, “I would have flattened him.
The fallout from the primary election was thought to be resolved during the post-convention reconciliation, but the selection of the vice presidential running mate has further polarised the party.
On May 30, Atiku paid a visit to Wike at his home in Abuja and pledged to work closely with him to win the party in 2023.
The PDP has been praised for being the only major political party to have decided on a running mate; however, the selection of Ifeanyi Okowa, the governor of Delta State, as the party’s running mate appears to be dividing it.
Many PDP leaders have publicly criticised the selection of Okowa so far, claiming that Atiku broke his promise to choose Wike as his running mate.
Governor Wike, however, had previously stated that he would not accept the position of running mate for anyone. He had stated, “I’m coming out to compete for the number one position in the country, I’m not coming out to negotiate to be vice to anyone.”
Ayodele Fayose, the former governor of Ekiti State, and Samuel Ortom, the current governor, have recently asserted that Wike received the vice president’s position as payment from Atiku.
“Wike never expressed a desire to serve as vice president, but when Atiku visited him, it was he who said, “I want you to be my vice president. That is what he told Wike. Is Wike not supposed to be notified if that were to change? Does he not have a right to know? Fayose had informed the media.
Ortom, who questioned the justification for tossing out the 17-man committee’s recommendation on the Vice President, agreed with this.
According to an interview with Ortom, 14 committee members voted for Wike, while only three supported Okowa. While stating that he has not yet made up his mind about Atiku, he urged the PDP nominee to get in touch with Wike.
In any case, there are some party members who support Atiku’s decision to pass on Wike. Babangida Aliyu, a former governor of Niger State, had stated, “Unfortunately, I’m not sure if it’s his temperament. It does not always happen when you speak too much or insult your way to power.
Atiku has faced opposition in the past regarding a running mate. The selection of Obi as Atiku’s running mate in 2018 angered a number of governors in the southeast because Atiku was criticised for not seeking enough input.
David Umahi, who was still a member of the PDP in 2018, had expressed surprise at Obi’s selection as the vice presidential candidate.
We noticed reports spreading across the country stating that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, our presidential candidate, had chosen a running mate from the zone. Because we were not consulted, we were shocked,” he said.
During the 17-person committee’s inauguration, the National Chairman made this statement.
This time around, our presidential candidate has chosen to support everyone, unlike in 2019, when he made his running mate choice without seeking input from many people, according to Ayu.
Despite the fact that his party is taking part in off-season elections, Atiku is reportedly not in the nation.
Alliance rumours involving Tinubu and Wike
Another rumour being spread by the crack is that Tinubu, who is in France, and Wike, who is in Turkey, met secretly to discuss forming an alliance.
An ally of Tinubu’s, Joe Igbokwe, had posted the alleged meeting on social media, but the post was later taken down.
The recent overture by Fayose, who has been indicating that he may support Tinubu on the grounds of “southern agenda,” is the context for this alleged meeting.
“The two-term Northern presidency of Nigeria’s current president implies that a Southern presidency MUST take office in 2023, or else. ‘South’ lo kan’ awa. Nigerians need to wait for more information soon, Fayose tweeted.
An alliance between Tinubu and Wike has little chance of happening, according to PDP Chieftain Basir Madandola.
“Wike has a role to play in Rivers State’s local politics. Along with Senate, Representative, and House of Assembly candidates, he also has a governorship candidate to defeat APC with. Remember that the APC are ravenous. They chose not to vote in the 2019 elections as a result of a court decision.
“The only thing that could happen is that he won’t fully commit; perhaps he’ll concentrate his efforts on his State. Will the APC abandon Rotimi Amaechi and other individuals in the State for him?
He continued by saying that the party might lose because it failed to organise the entire house.
“There are eight months left. That gives room for reconciliation more than enough. Wike has a sizable stake in the party and an interest in it. That interest, in my opinion, cannot be adequately protected in APC.
Concern about Iyorcha Ayu
Iyorcha Ayu, the PDP’s national chairman, has recently come under fire for the post-election crisis, particularly for telling Tambuwal, “You are the hero of the convention,” after the election.
In response to the remark, Edwin Clark demanded Ayu’s resignation.
In a conversation with Ortom, he declined to speak up for his relative.
Ortom refused to defend Ayu when asked if he had mismanaged the party or was not responsible for the problems at hand, saying instead, “Well, I won’t talk about mismanagement or innocence, but I will say, it is not too late, things can still be changed.”
Mr. Ayu and Atiku have a lengthy relationship. He served as the Action Congress of Nigeria’s campaign director general for the Atiku candidacy in 2007.
The PDP was forced to release a statement over the course of the week refuting “reports” that Ayu had resigned.
Election threat in Osun due to crack
You may recall that in an analysis of the Ekiti election, we looked at how the PDP’s internal problems contributed to the party’s humiliating losses in the state of Ekiti, where it finished third behind the APC and SDP.
The Ekiti PDP and Governor Fayose were left to their own devices.
The party is also in danger as a result of the crisis ahead of the contest between Gboyega Oyetola and Demola Adeleke for governor of Osun State.
Only Vice Presidential candidate Okowa and Taraba Governor Darius Isiaku were present when the campaign council for the governor of Osun State was established during the course of the week.
Even Diri Douye, the campaign council chairman, did not attend the event.