By Kelechi Esogwa-Amadi
More reasons have emerged on why the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, have not reconciled even after the two parties have severally stated that they are open for reconciliation talks.
Information reaching standardobservers.com reveals that five forces are responsible for the lingering feud that now appears to have defied all conciliatory measures applied by PDP national stakeholders.
The five forces, it was gathered include the northern troops, South-Eastern forces, Rivers forces, Delta forces and the G5 forces.
According to a well-informed inside source, the northern forces, which constitute all those supporting the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in the northern part of Nigeria, are strongly opposed to a reconciliation based on Governor Nyesom Wike and his G5 group’s terms.
The source explained further that the northern forces are uncomfortable with the Wike camp’s insistence that PDP national chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, must resign before they can support Atiku.
“They see that condition as an attempt to change the party’s constitution because of the interest of a few aggrieved politicians. They also feel that if Ayu is forced to resign, northern voters’ will be angry and may not vote for Atiku again and being the region with majority voters, they don’t want to
risk losing them. That’s why they’re not supporting any reconciliation that will require Ayu to resign for now. They believe that Ayu can resign after the election since that is what the constitution permits,” the source explained.
It was learnt that even if northerners from the North-East and North-West geo-political zones agree to Ayu’s resignation, those from the North-Central, where he hails from, will not agree, as they believe it is their turn to occupy that position.
“This is also similar to the thinking of Atiku’s supporters from Delta State. They see Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s emergence as running mate to Atiku as a privilege they must guard jealously, and they see Wike’s influence as a potential threat to Okowa’s position.
“You will recall that after he lost the primaries, we all thought they would compensate him with the vice presidential position. But they decided to give it to Okowa, and after all this crisis started, they’re now demanding that Ayu resign.
“And you can see that since that time, the friendship that used to exist between Wike and Okowa is no longer there. That’s why Okowa’s people are uncomfortable with Wike having his way as long as he insists that Ayu must resign. Some of them will be happy if Wike and his group leave PDP. I’m sure you know what is happening between him and Ned Nwoko,” the source further explained.
In recent times, Governor Nyesom Wike and Chief Ned Nwoko, a legal practitioner and former federal lawmaker, have engaged in trade of words after the Delta-born billionaire condemned what he saw as the Rivers governor’s anti-party activities and suggested expelling him from PDP.
The South-Eastern forces in the PDP are said to be secretly backing Ayu’s continuation as national chairman despite Governor Wike and his group’s demand for his resignation.
Standardobservers.com learnt that the fear of the South-Eastern forces in the PDP is that if Ayu is forced to resign for a southerner to replace him as acting national chairman, it will affect the office of the national secretary which Sam Anyanwu, a south-easterner from Owerri, Imo State, currently occupies.
The national secretaryship of the party is said to be one position the southeast will not want to lose because of its sensitivity, more so when such change is not the initiative of a majority but a few governors.
“And these southeast chieftains in the PDP have not forgiven Wike for stopping the zoning of the PDP presidency, which prevented them from producing a presidential candidate. They believe it should have been their turn to produce the president of the country under the PDP platform. Coming to lose the position of secretary of the party again if Ayu goes because of the same man is what they don’t even want to think about,” the source added.
It was also learnt that the Rivers forces, to an extent, share the same thinking with their southeast counterparts. They fear that allowing the Rivers governor to have his way in his demand for Ayu’s resignation will mean acknowledging that he is the most powerful man in the PDP.
It was also learnt that the camps of Uche Secondus and Farah Dagogo, who are Atiku supporters, are still unhappy with how the governor treated their principals and will not be comfortable with any arrangement or reconciliation that will seek to alienate them from the party mainstream.
Throwing more light on this, our source said: “These Atiku henchmen in Rivers, especially the Secondus and Dagogo camps, are like people who are nursing wounds. Remember that Wike was behind Secondus’ removal as national chairman of PDP. Then, he made sure that Farah Dagogo did not run for governorship because of the accusation that his boys shot guns at the screening premises, which made them arrest him.
“There is no way these people will support granting his demand that Ayu should resign. Even if Dagogo turns around tomorrow to support it, Secondus will never support it because of the boast the governor made while reacting to Secondus’ dance the day a vote of confidence was passed on Ayu.”
Moreover, the current face-off between the Governor Wike-led PDP and the Atiku Campaign Council in Rivers State led by Sen. Lee Maeba is another factor that might deepen the PDP crisis and the raging feud between the governor and the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
But even in the absence of that factor, the Wike-led G5 governors’ insistence on Ayu’s resignation presents another brick wall likely to impede any hope of a breakthrough in the quest for reconciliation between the two parties.
And this hard demand by the famous G5 governors constitutes the fifth anti-reconciliation force surrounding the PDP crisis, TPCN gathered.
However, some political analysts believe that the hope for the resolution of the PDP crisis cannot be totally lost, arguing that in politics, anything is possible.
“After all, is it not the same politicians that usually tell us that there is neither a permanent friend nor a permanent foe in politics?”, one of the analysts asked rhetorically.