Atiku, Wike’s rivalry set to be rekindled as PDP NEC meets in Abuja 

Atiku, Wike’s rivalry set to be rekindled as PDP NEC meets in Abuja


The rivalry between former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, over the control of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) looks set to be renewed at the forthcoming National Executive Committee (NEC).

The meeting of the committee according to Tribune has been fixed for April 18, more than one year since the last session.

The National Working Committee (NWC) led by the acting national chairman of the party, Ambassador Iliya Damagun, had been reluctant to summon the meeting due to the continuing intrigues between Atiku and Wike camps.

The rivalry between the presidential candidate of the party in the 2023 election and the former Rivers State Governor is a fallout of the presidential primary and the subsequent selection of the running mate of the party.

Atiku’s refusal to pick Wike as the vice presidential candidate after defeating him in the presidential primary, drove a wedge into their relationship and by extension, the PDP.

Recall that Wike consequently worked against the election of the former vice president by throwing his support behind the then candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, to win the election.

Even though he is not a member of the committee having left office as a state governor, Wike is believed to be keen to control its affairs despite working full time for the APC administration.

The former Rivers State governor still retains the loyalty of key members of the committee and the NWC who are likely to do his bidding rather than that of Atiku who is regarded as the defector leader of the PDP.

The national secretary of the party, Sam Anyanwu and the national vice chairman (South), Dan Orbih, are key Wike loyalists who openly hobnob with him.

It was learnt that the presence of Wike’s supporters in the PDP organs is one the reasons the NWC has been unable to act on his alleged anti-party activities, which the NEC is now likely to consider.

The NEC may also look at the situation in Rivers State where 25 members of the Rivers State house of assembly elected under the PDP defected to the APC allegedly under the instruction of Wike.

The committee, which supervises other organs of the PDP to ensure that their actions conform to Democratic principles, may also deliberate on the question of the next substantive chairman of the party to replace the former party boss, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, who resigned in March last year under intense pressure from the G-5, led by Wike.

The rivalry between the two top politicians may manifest on these issues and the issue of who their camps decide to support should the committee open the nomination.

There had been suggestions that pressure was mounting on the NWC not to call the NEC meeting earlier because of the fear that it could play into the hands of Wike.

Atiku, who has been out of the country, has now returned ostensibly to prepare for the showdown

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