The reconciliation committee jointly set up by presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar and Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike to resolve their differences ahead of the 2023 general election will meet today, Monday in Abuja.
Blueprint recalls that they reached an agreement to set up a committee last Thursday at a meeting in Abuja held at the residence of a former Minister of Information and National Orientation, Prof. Jerry Gana.
It was the first time the two leaders would be meeting since Atiku overlooked Wike and appointed Delta state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, as his running mate for the February 2023 presidential election.
Okowa’s appointment angered Wike, who was reportedly favoured by a committee that the candidate and the PDP set up for advice on the choice of the running mate.
Consequently, this among others led to a crisis in the party, with other stakeholders also complaining that the leadership of the party is lopsided in favour of the North.
Blueprint, however, exclusively gathered that Gana, former Ondo state governor, Olusegun Mimiko and former Cross River state governor, Donald Duke are going to lead Wike’s camp at the meeting.
The source also hinted that governor of Adamawa state, Ahmadu Finitri, former Nigerian minister of Police affairs, Adamu Waziri and former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Ondo state, Eyitayo Jegede, will lead Atiku’s camp.
He said “I know Jerry Gana is going to lead the meeting tomorrow. I don’t know the details aside from the fact that Jerry Gana is the one leading Wike’s camp. Donald Duke, Mimiko are the other leaders in Wike’s camp.
“So, the committee will meet on Monday and look at their terms of reference, the source added.
A source in Wike’s camp that does not want his name mentioned in print said the Rivers state governor alongside his counterparts, Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) are in France.
The source confirmed that “Wike, Ortom, Makinde, Abia and Enugu state governors are in France to meet on this issue and other issues ahead of the 2023 election.”
On what is making the crisis difficult to resolve, he said “the major problem is the refusal of the PDP National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu to step aside.”
He said Ayu came in as the party’s chairman on the agreement that he will resign if a presidential candidate emerges from the North.
The source lamented “You know how the National Chairman came in, the agreement that he will resign if another Northern emerges party’s Presidential candidate.
“Ayu is the main problem. He has refused to step down since Atiku emerged as the party’s presidential candidate.”