By Wilfred Eya
Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, has stoked the fire of his political machine ahead of 2023 presidential election.
Indications of his efforts to seek another shot at the presidential seat emerged last week when the Turaki Adamawa visited the Rivers State Governor, Neysom Wike who is considered a major power broker in PDP.
But the development came even as another power bloc led by former Senate president, David Mark, met to curtail the overbearing influence of Governor Wike.
A highly placed member of PDP told Daily Sun that during Atiku’s visit, he asked for reconciliation with Wike and for him to support his presidential aspiration to try again in 2023.
Our source said the former vice president asked Wike to work with him and put behind the fact that he (Rivers governor) did not support him (Atiku) in 2019.
Daily Sun gathered that Wike accepted to support Atiku but only on the condition that the current National Working Committee (NWC) is thrown out before December. he made his position clear that it was time for the National chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus and his team to go.
However, it was gathered that Atiku did not buy into the demand because he did not consider reasons for the removal of the NWC strong enough and also that the timing is not good for a party in opposition.
Meanwhile, Mark and his group have perfected moves to check the influence of Wike on PDP. It was learnt that members of the bloc comprising former senate presidents and former governors met in Mark’s house to discuss the future of the party.
A source privy to the meeting told Daily Sun that the main objective of the meeting was to create a strong power bloc and also to see how the party could be strengthened to take power from the APC.
At the meeting were former senate presidents Iyochia Ayu, Mark, Anyim Pius Anyim while former governors were Ahmad Makarfi, Okwesilieze Nwodo, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Sule Lamindo, wife of former Niger governor, Kure alongside other major stakeholders of the party.
The agenda was to see how they could drag in one of them into the party as interim chairman if the brewing crisis between Wike and Secondus deepens. Daily Sun, however, gathered that the stakeholders in the meeting were divided as pro and anti-Wike people could not agree on disposing with the NWC. While anti-Wike group wanted him called to order for allegedly stoking fire in the party by fighting Secondus, others were in support of the disbandment of NWC.
At the meeting of governors in Bauchi, the party matter also featured and governor executives were unanimous that they need to thread softly to avoid plunging the PDP into a major crisis.
The governors felt there was no way the NWC can be hastily forced out without creating problems for the party ahead of 2023 already by the corner.
Daily Sun also gathered that part of Secondus problems with Wike is his subtle support for Atiku’s ambition as against that of Sokoto Governor, Aminu Tambuwal.