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The crisis rocking the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may soon be over if the presidential candidate of the party, Atiku Abubakar, accepts stringent conditions allegedly put forward by Governor Nyesom Wike and his supporters.
This is coming even as the Board of Trustees (BoT) has fixed a meeting for tomorrow even as its Chairman, Senator Walid Jibrin, asserted a group comprising former and current governors as well as others critical stakeholders was working to resolve the crisis.
The opposition party has been caught up in crisis following the selection of Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, as running mate to Atiku. Governor Wike and his camp had kicked against the decision.
Atiku, since his emergence as the candidate of the PDP, has allegedly not reached out to Wike, as part of moves to address the lingering crisis. In an interview with a national television, Atiku claimed his aides had reached out to Wike. Though he did not dismiss the lingering crisis, he, however, said the issues would be resolved soon.
Africa Daily News, New York recalls that last weekend, Wike said the presidential candidate was yet to reach out to him personally. He accused Atiku of allowing his supporters to insult him.
Like Atiku, he said the teething crisis would be resolved soon.
At an expanded meeting on Sunday in Abuja, Wike and his supporters, including serving governors, met and took crucial decisions. A source privy to the meeting told Daily Sun that Wike’s camp tabled three key conditions that should be considered by Atiku before reconciliation.
Wike’s camp is asking for a commitment from Atiku that he would only serve for a single term and return power to the South and that the position of national chairman should be ceded to the South East or South West.
‘South South has served a term. It means Sam Anyanwu from Imo State, who’s the current national secretary, may be asked to go if Atiku agrees. Another condition given is that, supporters of Wike, should not be ignored. They need to be carried along and given important portfolios if Atiku eventually wins.
‘There were other conditions, but these are the key ones. For now, these conditions have not been solidified and sent to Atiku yet. There will be other meetings before an expanded one where Wike and Atiku are both expected to attend,‘ the source said.
However, a source close to Atiku’s camp said he was aware that Wike’s loyalists seek the sack of the national chairman and appeasement as a condition for peace. It, however, faulted the Rivers Governors’ camp saying: ‘I don’t know what they mean by the world appeasement. For me as a politician, once party primaries are over, people will come together to see how well their party can win election. It is not for you to say they must appease you. They are heating the party unnecessarily. Until now, running mates is the exclusive reserve of the candidate. In the first place, what the national chairman did was very wrong to set up a committee to shop for running mate.’
The source dismissed demand for the sack of Ayu as national chairman.