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Wike, Ortom, Others Return To Nigeria As Rivers Gov’s Camp Foreclose Reconciliation With Atiku

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and his allies, who reportedly returned to the country from the United Kingdom on Sunday, may have resolved to foreclose reconciliation with the camp of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

Wike and three other PDP governors in his camp – Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), and Samuel Ortom (Benue) – have been at loggerheads with the Atiku’s camp over the lopsided composition of the leadership structure of the main opposition party.

The camp had asked Atiku to prevail over the party’s national chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, to resign from his position to give way to a southerner.

Speaking with The Nation on Sunday, a party source said the two camps have refused to shift grounds since the last London meeting between Atiku and Wike’s loyalists.

The source said: “There is no new development on the matter because nothing has changed since they had that meeting in London a few days ago.

“As a matter of fact, we can’t see any positive signs of compromise between the two camps. Rather the two sides are rigidly sticking to their guns regarding the resignation of the National Chairman. So that is the situation at the moment.”

However, the source stated that it might be too late for Governor Wike and his allies to dump the PDP during this period.

According to the source, Wike and his loyalists may remain in the PDP and work against Atiku’s election.

He added: “The truth is that the Rivers governor and his co-travelers are more concerned about their political future post-2023 because they don’t see Atiku and the PDP winning the presidential election.

“Even Atiku and the PDP leaders are unsure of their chances in 2023 because some developments have changed the political equation this time around.

“The presence in the race of Peter Obi and his Labour Party and Kwankwaso flying the flag of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) has narrowed the chances of the PDP than what was obtained in the 2019 election.

“Added to the uncertainty is the strength and formidable structure of the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, who by every indication constitutes a serious threat to Atiku and the PDP.”

NewsTimes gathered that the PDP’s National Working Committee (NWC) and the National Caucus would meet on Wednesday.

The party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) and Board of Trustees (BoT) will after that meet on Thursday.

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