Senator Walid Jibrin, chairman of the People’s Democratic Party Board of Trustees, yesterday urged party members to maintain their composure amid the simmering conflict between Atiku Abubakar, the PDP’s presidential candidate, and Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, assuring them that the two leaders’ disagreement would be soon resolved.
This occurred on a day when Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom said there was nothing wrong with Wike’s willingness to welcome candidates and leaders from other parties.
In a similar vein, Onwuasoanya FCC Jones, Director, Strategic Communication of the Peter Obi Support Group, noted that Obi’s visit to Wike was a part of the Labour Party, LP presidential candidate’s efforts to redraw the political landscape of the nation in accordance with the interests of the people.
To communicate with Wike’s team, which former information minister Professor Jerry Gana chaired, Atiku had designated a seven-person team led by Adamawa State Governor Ahmadu Fintiri.
The two camps are billed to meet in Port-Harcourt on a date yet to be announced.
However, contrary to widespread assumption among Nigerians, what was happening within the party was not a crisis, but a misunderstanding among family members, said BoT Chairman Senator Jibrin in a statement.
As appropriate party organs were already working to address unresolved difficulties, the BoT chairman vowed that the misunderstanding would soon be history.
The statement reads: “I wish to call on all members of PDP and all Nigerians to remain calm and never create bad blood and confusion on the state of our party.
“All efforts are on the ground to reconcile Wike, the party and the presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
“What is happening now should never be categorised as a problem but misunderstanding within the party.
“At this period leading to the 2023 elections, we should concentrate on how to win all positions to be contested and seriously adhere to the provision of the party constitution.
“My strong advice is for us to give strong support to the present Reconciliation Committee set up to resolve all issues. After that, the BoT, the highest advisory organ of the party, will give more encouragement leading to greater success of PDP.”
Governor Ortom of Benue State responded to Governor Wike’s meeting with the LP presidential candidate by saying that anyone is allowed to welcome any associate.
On Monday, Mr Obi held a private meeting at his home in PortHarcourt with Wike and a few PDP leaders.
Responding to dissents against the meeting, Ortom said: “The challenges facing the country transcend partisan politics. In the end, the solution to the challenges of Nigeria is what matters.
“Where we are today calls for all hands to be on deck. I am free to receive any candidate who comes visiting or seeking an audience with me. I cannot say no when such a request comes.”
The Peter Obi Support Group’s Director of Strategic Communication, Mr Jones, agreed that ongoing conversations shouldn’t be concluded prematurely.
He said: “I can confirm that there are key members of the PDP and the All Progressives Congress, APC, who are major supporters of the New Nigeria project piloted by Mr Peter Obi.
“I will not give you names, but I can assure you that strategic discussions are ongoing among Nigerian patriots across the party divide to rescue Nigeria from imminent collapse. There is already a consensus among every patriotic Nigerians that Obi is the vehicle to actualise this goal.”
He was, however, quick to add: “Nigerians should not expect any quick conclusion to the ongoing consultations, as some of these discussions will continue until a few days to the election.”