2023: PDP crisis deepens as Wike says Rivers won’t campaign for Atiku

THE crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has deepened after Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike declared that the state chapter of the party will not campaign for presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Wike accused Atiku of excluding him from the party’s presidential campaign council.

Speaking at the launch of Rivers PDP campaign for the 2023 elections in Port Harcourt on Monday, October 24, Wike described the Rivers indigenes appointed into the council as “enemies of the state”.

The governor noted that he would not campaign for Atiku in the forthcoming election because the presidential candidate did not seek his input in the  formation of the presidential campaign council.

He said; “Some have asked me why they did not see the presidential candidate, the party chairman’s photos in our campaign vehicles. I said what are you talking about?

“The presidential candidate entered my state and picked members of the presidential campaign council without the governor of the state having a contribution.

“So they said they don’t need me to campaign for them. They don’t want Rivers people to campaign for them. Would you force yourself?

“They don’t want us to campaign for them. The governorship and senatorial candidates told us to campaign for them. So we are here to campaign for them. If they want us to campaign for them, they will come and tell us.

“If they think we are important, they will come and meet us and say I am running for election, can you come and support us? But nobody has come to tell us. Let me say that nobody can intimidate the state.”

Meanwhile, a group called PDP Stakeholders has countered the claim by Wike that the party’s presidential candidate excluded him while forming the campaign council.

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The coordinator of the group, Tai Oyekan, alleged that Wike was contacted by the party and Atiku but refused to participate in the process.

“Whereas all state governors made nominations into the council, it was only in Rivers State that the governor refused to forward his nominations into the council,” Oyekan said.

Oyekan added, “It was therefore upon the refusal of the governor (Wike) that the PDP and its presidential candidate went ahead by their own discretion to make nominations into the council.

“It is public knowledge that Governor Wike has gone amok with the party since his failure to emerge as presidential candidate of the party and has stated, publicly also, that he will not cooperate with the party in our presidential campaign.

“Governor Wike can be likened to a prodigal son who took his inheritance in annoyance. But we are hopeful that the party, as father to all, will have the rectitude to accept Governor Wike back as a prodigal son whenever he returns in penitence.




     

     

    “But before then, we wish to admonish Governor Wike that for the purpose of posterity, he should desist from telling lies against the PDP and leaders of the party.

    “Nigeria operates a democratic politics and that means that Governor Wike has the rights of participation or otherwise. Be that as it may, however, he alone does not approximate Rivers State.

    “There are respected leaders who have made their marks in life and politics and are indigenes of Rivers.

    “We consider it inglorious on the part of the governor that he would describe such people as ‘enemies of Rivers State’ only because they refuse to be a party of his solo-travel to political obscurity.”

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    Sinafi Omanga is a journalist with The ICIR. His Twitter handle is @OmangaSinafi and Email: [email protected]

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