Tension in PDP as Wike hosts Peter Obi again
The Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, was on Friday hosted by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.
Obi’s visit was coming barely 48 hours after the official kick-off of the 2023 election campaigns.
The meeting, which was not the first, was coming amid the internal crisis of the Peoples Democratic Party which Wike belongs to.
Our correspondent had on June 22 2022 reported that Obi visited Wike in Port Harcourt. The closed-door meeting lasted for a few hours at the governor’s private residence in Port Harcourt.
The two politicians were seen shaking hands in front of Governor Wike’s residence in pictures online. Wike was spotted in white, while his guest, Obi wore a blue senator material.
However, sharing the pictures of the meeting on his Twitter handle on Friday, Wike wrote, “It was nice hosting my brother @PeterObi once again.”
Although details and outcome of the meeting were not known, the meeting was coming amid allegations and counter allegations of bribery within the PDP fold.
Aside from photos shared by Wike, Obi, who is a former Anambra State governor, on his Twitter handle, shared pictures of his meeting with Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde.
“I was at Ibadan, and I visited my brother and friend, HE @seyiamakinde, the Governor of Oyo State as part of my consultations ahead of the 2023 general elections. We had very frank and constructive discussions. -PO,” he wrote.
Our correspondent reports that Makinde, Governors Samuel Ortom of Benue State; Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State; Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, all believed to be loyal to Wike, including the governor, on Wednesday, boycotted the inauguration of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council and book launch in honour of the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
Also absent from the event was the National Chairman of the PDP who, according to the Deputy National Chairman (North), Umar Damagum, was absent as a result of ill health.
Other PDP governors believed to be loyal to the party’s presidential candidate were, however, in attendance.
Our correspondent also reported on Thursday that no fewer than four members of the PDP National Working Committee returned N122.4 million paid into their accounts by the main opposition party leadership.
There had been media reports Ayu allegedly paid over N100m to the NWC members after the party’s primaries.
The money was said to be part of the over N10 billion realised by the party from nomination fees paid by aspirants.
The NWC members who returned the money are the National Vice Chairman (South-West) Olasoji Adagunodo, the Deputy National Chairman (South) Taofeek Arapaja; National Vice Chairman (South), Chief Dan Orbih and National Women Leader, Prof. Stella Affah-Attoe.
Meanwhile, Wike had during his media chat on September 23 2022 boasted that though no one was above the party, those who left the party during the height of its crisis in 2014/2015 cannot suspend him.
But when asked if other political parties, including presidential aspirants, are wooing him to join them, Wike said, “They know I am important and that is why they are wooing me.
“Who does not want to win Rivers State? Why won’t they (opposition parties) talk to me? So many parties are talking to me.”
When asked about his possible suspension for anti-party activities, Wike said, “Who will suspend me? The party? Which party? PDP? No problem. Look at the wahala (problem) you (PDP) are already carrying. They (PDP) can go ahead.
“I am not saying I am bigger than the party. But those who ran away from the party cannot suspend me from the party. I beg them (PDP) today and they shouldn’t waste time to say the Governor of Rivers State you are hereby suspended from the party. Then, anything you see, you take! They (PDP members) know what I can do.”
“What I am saying is that if we misused this opportunity Nigerians are giving us, we will pay dearly for it. For me, everything must be done to make sure the right is done for us to get the support of Nigeria. But if we continue this way, we are going for a shocker, and that I can tell you.
He said the crisis in the main opposition party was more than what was being reported in the media and for the sake of peace, he won’t divulge critical information to the public.
“I believed justice, fairness, and equity should be allowed for our party to progress. That is when our party can stand as a party that wants to take over the reign of affairs of this country,” he said.