Politics

Wike: Opposition against Atiku paralyses PDP into different camps

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Many people may have apparently attributed the deadlock by the People Democratic Party (PDP) National Executive Council, NEC, which stalled any decision against Mr. Nyesom Wike, former governor of Rivers state, and FCT minister, for anti party activity, as victory for him and a reflection of his stronghold on the party.

However, indications have emerged that rather than it being an endorsement of Wike’s intransigence, it was the anti Atiku coalition that held sway.

On April 18, 2024, the opposition People’s Democratic Party held its National Executive Council ( NEC) meeting to ostensibly chart a way forward, do a critical examination of the health of the party and proffer ways to, among other things, make the party plays its assigned role of opposition, and also position on how wrest power from the ruling All Progressive Party.

In reality, the meeting was about, who controls the soul of the party, and a contest for the levers of power of the once great, but now weakened, political platform that ruled the country from 1999 to 2015, between the two most powerful gladiators in the party, the former vice president, Atiku Abubakar and Nyesom Wike.

Many analysts have long argued that the irreconcilable differences between Wike and Atiku has the potential to destroy the party, and of the two, according to Business Hallmark’s findings, Atiku is viewed as possessing the more destructive seed. This thinking is allegedly the prevailing belief of many current governors on the platform of the party, who are also interested in controlling the party, a factor, many contended, in doing a post mortem of NEC meeting, ensured the victory of Wike’s camp.

The two camps had come prepared for battle, according to reports, and it would seem the former vice president had the backing of a great chunk of the National Assembly members on the platform of the party, while the sitting governors and ex- governors of the party favoured the Wike camp.

Professor Adeagbo Moritiwon a political scientist, provided an insight. “The governors that supported Wike against Atiku at the NEC meeting did so not because they loved Wike’s politics, no, they would rather he was eased out of his position of influence. What happened was a strange marriage of convenience, because a lot of them reasoned that not only is Atiku too old for 2027, presenting him for the coming presidential election will be a risky venture given that the South will want to complete two terms in office.”

Professor Abdullah Abubakar, a political sociologist, told Business Hallmark that “what the governors did in supporting Wike was enlightened self-interest, because if Atiku is allowed to take over the party, it will not favour their individual ambition of contesting for president come 2031, so it was a strategic move, borne of sound political calculation. I can tell you that once Atiku is taken out, it will be easy to deal with Wike’s threat.”

Anti Wike’s camp was said to have come to the NEC meeting to pass a vote of no confidence on Ambassador Damagun, the caretaker chairman of the party, to pave the way for his removal.

As it stands today the euphoria of victory is still very much in the air for the camp of the Wike, within the PDP, who are still in a joyous mood.

The strategy of Atiku’s camp, which failed was to have Umar Damagum return to his position as Deputy National Chairman (North) to let the North Central produce a substantive National Chairman to complete the truncated tenure of former Chairman, Dr. Iyiorchia Ayu.

But now that the table had turned against the plan, it was gathered that the Atiku camp have returned to the drawing board for a new strategy.

The bigwigs of the party have been trying to extenuate the feelings of the people by painting a picture of a good outcome of the NEC meeting.

Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum and Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed expressed delight that contrary to the expectations of the party’s enemies, the meeting was held in s peaceful atmosphere.

“It also approved the Reconstitution of the Party Disciplinary and Reconciliation Committees to further ensure the stability of the Party.

Prof. Moritiwon further hinted that” the party may not survive going forward, or at best, it will become the weakest party in a chain. Many have left the party in the southeast, I can see the emergence of a third force made up of dissatisfied members of the All Progressive Congress and PDP, it will come on strong, but I’m not too sure it can win the presidential election in 2027″.

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As it stands, many who spoke with Business Hallmark said the trajectory of the party depends largely on Wike’s next move, and the party members are said to be allegedly waiting for this move.

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