Wike may not stop talking until PDP collapses [Editor’s Opinion]
Wike has repeatedly proved that he no longer cares about the party he vowed to support to the end of time.
After the presidential convention that produced Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as its flag-bearer, the main opposition party had hoped to go into the forthcoming general elections as a united front to challenge the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and seize power from the party in 2023.
The PDP had also hoped to take advantage of the APC’s growing loss of popularity among the youths to dislodge the ruling party from the seat of power, but unfortunately, the party that wants to take hold of the centre currently struggles to hold itself together.
At the centre of the crisis rocking the PDP’s boat is the governor of Rivers State, Nyesome Wike, who is apparently obsessed with making his incessant attacks against the party a fanfare.
While the PDP is making efforts to get its act together and bring its members under its umbrella for the task ahead of them in 2023, Wike and his political band are doing a great job to distract the party.
Since he lost to Atiku in the PDP primary election in May, Wike, who had during the primary vowed to support any candidate the party produces as its flagbearer, now distances himself from the party.
Atiku’s purported rejection of Wike as his running mate also worsened the situation as his choice of Ifeanyi Okowa compounded Wike’s grievances with the PDP.
Before Wike became a bone in the throat of the PDP, the leadership of the party had a chance to pacify him and get him to champion the cause of the party as he normally does.
But instead of convening a meeting to reconcile losers and the winner with the aim of solidifying their post-primary gains, the party chieftains revelled in the emergence of Atiku as its presidential candidate and forgot to address brewing issues.
Wike’s suspicion that the primary election was a conspiracy against him started with a viral video of the National Chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu, celebrating Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal whose withdrawal from the presidential primary was instrumental to Atiku’s victory over him.
In the video, Ayu repeatedly thanked Tambuwal for stepping down for Atiku. The chairman who was obviously elated about the outcome of the election patted Tambuwal on the back and described him as the hero of the convention.
While Atiku’s emergence was the expected outcome for some of the party leaders, the distribution of key offices in the party left so much to be desired.
The outcome of the primary produced leadership that substantially tilted in favour of the North as the region produced the party’s presidential candidate, the national chairman, the chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees and the governors’ forum chairman.
It is a clear case of marginalisation against the southern region and Wike has been the most vocal member of the party challenging the lopsidedness.
He believes for peace to reign in the party, Ayu has to step down for a Southerner to occupy his position.
However, in a bid to rectify the situation, the BoT chairman, Jibrin Walid, sacrificed himself by stepping down on Thursday, September 8, 2022. He was thereafter replaced by a Southerner, Adolphus Wabara, who was a former President of the Senate.
But Walid’s resignation was not enough to pacify Wike as he insisted that Ayu must resign his position as chairman of the party.
Wike’s claim that Atiku initiated the idea that the chairman must step down is an allegation against the presidential candidate to substantiate his personal fight against the party chairman. But Ayu, who is a founding member of the party won’t go down to elevate Wike’s political status in the party.
To show his disdain for the PDP, Wike has repeatedly proved that he no longer cares about the party he vowed to support to the end of time. The controversial governor has said too many things in recent times to smear the PDP.
Whatever Wike's agenda is, the governor seems to have made up his mind to work against the party as he keeps berating the party every time he has the opportunity to hold a microphone.
The governor has already said so much against the PDP that restraining himself and turning around to campaign for the party could be very difficult for him to do.
Wike and his musical band are bent on cooking his party to become irrelevant before the 2023 elections. He has made it clear that he would help the PDP to lose the forthcoming election.
He has also vowed to crush his enemies in the PDP and would not back down on bringing them down because according to him, God has given him all he needs to disgrace his foes.
Wike is very important to the PDP. He has once been the pillar holding the party together when many politicians who claim to be chieftains of the party deserted it to join the APC.
Wike might have overestimated his importance and decided to ask for too much, but the party surely needs to get him back in its fold.
But if campaigns start and the leadership of the PDP is still unable to get Wike under its umbrella, the party might just need to look elsewhere for support and quickly develop a new strategy for its campaign in the South-South region.
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