PDP in crisis, after supporters of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar gained traction last weekend, after plot to expul former Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike comes to light.
According to sources, a conference convened by Atiku, the PDP’s flagbearer in the disputed 2023 presidential election, and attended by “elders and stakeholders” who are his supporters, discussed the “Wike problem” extensively.
Most party members supported Wike’s expulsion, but some were concerned that it would further divide the PDP and lead to a “ANPP” mentality.
The All Nigeria Peoples group (ANPP), which began as the All Peoples Party (APP) in 1999, was the country’s most powerful opposition group, ruling nine states between 1999 and 2003.
However, a protracted internal struggle soon separated the party, and by 2007, it had shrunk to insignificance until dissolving into the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2013.
Senior party members loyal to Wike have threatened to “fight till the end,” including the formation of a parallel PDP and a protracted, ANPP-style crisis, if the former governor is ejected.
The PDP situation has been compounded by President Bola Tinubu’s candidature of Wike, whom Atiku defeated in the party’s presidential race last year, for a ministerial position in the APC government.
Wike’s apparent acceptance of the nomination is viewed as “the final straw” by the Atiku group, following previous attempts to oust the former governor for “anti-party activities” for openly supporting Tinubu in the presidential election.
The Wike gang, formerly known as the G5, has already succeeded in putting Simon Davou Mwadkwon (Plateau) as Senate Minority Leader and Kingsley Chinda (Rivers) as House Minority Leader.
The defeat of Atiku supporters in the national parliament, led by former governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, was seen as another slap in the face.
However, most members of the national working committee (NWC) are said to be on Wike’s side or opposed to Atiku, complicating the process to eject the ministerial nominee.
According to a NWC member, the “elders and stakeholders” who met with Atiku last weekend do not possess any formal position in the PDP and do not have the constitutional authority to suspend Wike.
They also noted that the majority of NWC members have sold their souls to Wike” and are no longer trusted to do what is right for the party.