2023: Obasanjo, Obi, Wike, others meet in London

FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo met with the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate Peter Obi and Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike in London on Thursday.

Some governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), including Samuel Ortom, Benue, Seyi Makinde, Oyo, and Okezie Ikpeazu, Abia, were also at the meeting.

The London meeting was also attended by former Cross River governor Donald Duke and Senator Olaka Nwogu.


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Details of the meeting remain sketchy, but it might not be unconnected with the 2023 presidential election.

The meeting comes shortly after All Progressive Congress (APC) presidential candidate Bola Tinubu met with Wike and his camp also in London on Monday.

Wike has been at loggerheads with the camp of PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar following the party’s presidential primary, where Wike lost to Atiku in a fiercely contested election.

After the primary, Atiku picked Delta State governor Ifeanyi Okowa as his running mate for the 2023 presidential election against the recommendation of a committee chaired by Benue governor, Ortom.

The Ortom-led committee reportedly recommended Wike as the PDP vice presidential candidate.

The development has led to a crisis in the PDP.

Wike is yet to throw his weight behind Atiku’s presidential ambition and there are concerns that he may work against the PDP candidate in 2023.

Efforts by PDP stakeholders to reconcile Wike and Atiku have not been successful and there are reports that the key issue hindering the discussions was the demand for the resignation of the national chairman of the PDP, Iyorchia Ayu, by Wike’s camp.

The camp believes that Ayu was biased during the primary.

According to reports, Ayu had also pledged to quit if a Northerner emerged as the presidential flagbearer of the PDP.

A former Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, Olabode George, has insisted that Ayu must resign for peace to reign in the party.

In a recent interview with Channels Television, George recounted that Ayu promised to vacate his seat as national chairman if the party produced a presidential candidate from the North.

George also said the South was not interested in the position of the Director-General of the Presidential Campaign Council, stressing that in the interest of equity, fairness and justice, the national chairman should vacate his seat for a Southerner to take over.

Also, the Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees (BOT) Walid Jibrin had decried the manner top positions are shared in the party.

In an interview with Channels Television on Sunday, Jibrin said it was unfair for the PDP to have its presidential candidate, the national chairman and BoT chairman from the Northern part of the country.






     

     

    “You see, to tell the truth, it will not be fair for the President of Nigeria to be from the North, the chairman of the party to be from the North and to talk of the BoT chairman to also be from the North,” he said.

    He, however, expressed optimism that the feud between Atiku and Wike would soon be resolved.

    “I still maintain my stand that PDP is a democratic and national party that caters for all Nigerians, it’s not sectional but loved by all Nigerians. As a PDP BoT chairman, I must say the truth and nothing but the truth no matter any criticism I don’t fear anyone.

    “Therefore, I will never accept any unholy criticism by anyone. I will remain in PDP until my death. I still maintain that the BoT is eagerly waiting for the report of the reconciliation committee headed by the governor of Adamawa State and Professor Jerry Gana, thereafter, the BoT will thoroughly discuss it and inform the public accordingly no more, no less,” he said.

    You can reach out to me on Twitter via: vincent_ufuoma

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