2023: Lamido bombs Wike as PDP crisis gets messier

PDP chieftain Sule Lamido and Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike

PDP chieftain Sule Lamido and Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike

The crises afflicting Nigeria’s main opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP ahead of the 2023 general election is set to get worse in the next few days as former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido descended on Governor Nyesom Wike on Tuesday during his appearance on a television programme.

He spoke as story emerge that Wike had met with the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC Bola Ahmed Tinubu alongside governors Seyi Makinnde and Samuel Ortom in London.

Lamido is an ally of PDP’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, whom the Rivers State Governor has been at war with since the end of the party’s primary.

Aside defeating Wike in the battle for presidential ticket of PDP, the former Vice President also overlooked the governor in the selection of his running mate.

Wike has not hidden the fact that he was not satisfied with the outcome of the primary. He has also said the people of Rivers State may not support the presidential ambition of Atiku in 2023.

Wike had on return from vacation outside the country late last month given indications that he would soon “speak out” about all that had transpired in the PDP since the emergence of Atiku as the presidential candidate of the party.

He also accused the presidential candidate of PDP of peddling “lies” against him about the party’s presidential primary in an interview he granted to Arise Television.

Specifically, Wike said PDP presidential candidate not only neglected him after he won the presidential primary, he has also been attacking him using proxies such as former governors Sule Lamido and Babangida Aliyu and a PDP chieftain, Abubakar Waziri.

“I will let Nigerians know the actual truth. Having known the truth, whatever they decide with it, is left for Nigerians because you can imagine when the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar unveiled his vice presidential candidate, look at the abuses they hauled on me. So, it is important for me as a person to react line by line, to the statement made by Atiku himself and his attack dogs,” said Wike.

In line with his promise, Wike had in the past few weeks started inviting members of the All Progressives Congress, APC to commission projects constructed by his administration during which he also took potshots at the PDP and its presidential candidate.

Wike and his supporters were also said to have demanded the resignation of Iyorcha Ayu as the chairman of the PDP since the emergence of Atiku as the presidential candidate of the party.

According to them, the chairmanship position of PDP should be re-zoned to the Southern part of the country with the emergence of Atiku as the presidential candidate of the party.

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Loyalists of Rivers State Governor also noted that Ayu had pledged to step down if a Northerner emerged as the candidate of the party when the debate over which zone should get the 2023 presidential ticket of PDP was on.

Wike and Atiku had agreed to set up a committee that will draw up a framework for reconciliation of their differences. But the Committee, according to reports, was not making much headway because of demands for resignation of Ayu by the Wike group.

The Governor has also moved against members of PDP campaigning or supporting the presidential ambition of Atiku in Rivers in the past few days.

During his interview on “Politics Today” Lamido insisted that his group will not support the sack of Ayu.

He also accused Wike of acting like an emperor with his “bombastic rants” arguing that the governor does does not have sole control of the structure of the party in the oil-rich state.

He argued that Wike will become a political ‘destitute’ in eight months when his tenure as governor will expire.

“Right now, if you go to Rivers, there were 13 governorship aspirants for the governorship candidate in Rivers State, it was Wike who imposed the current candidate. The others are there complaining and screaming. I saw him on TV talking the other day, he was very bombastic. He was saying that he would not allow this and that.

“In the next eight months, he will become a political destitute like me,” he said.

“Wike is an individual. I don’t think because he is a governor, then he has the monopoly and control over Rivers. He does not have it. He is always speaking because he is a bluff. The people of Rivers State are in PDP in their own right.

“Because he is now a governor, he can appropriate sovereignty and become an emperor because he is a governor. It cannot work. There is a Wike in every part of the country. Leave Wike alone, he can give order to Rivers people if they are enslaved to him. If they are his slave— fair enough, he is their emperor, let him give orders.”

He also dismissed call for resignation of Ayu, saying this was not the first time both the presidential candidate of the PDP and its national chairman would come from the same part of the country.

“In 2007, when we had Yar’adua as the candidate, we also had Ahmadu Ali from the same zone. There is a difference between a candidate and the president of Nigeria, at that time, we said ‘fair enough, if PDP wins, we will swap the position,” Lamido said.

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