- Parley with Atiku fails to hold
The late Monday night meeting of Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate of Peter Obi with Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike and his allies is unsettling members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
This is because there is growing anxiety of losing the 2023 presidential election over a possible alliance between Wike and Obi. Obi met with Wike at the governor’s private residence in Port Harcourt while those in attendance included some PDP governors and two the former states’ helmsmen Dr. Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo) and Donald Duke (Cross River).
The allies of the Rivers helmsman at the meeting included Governors Samuel Ortom (Benue) and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), as well as former Gombe State Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo, among others.
The purpose of the Wike/Obi meeting could not be immediately ascertained amid speculation that it may not be far from possible alignment of forces ahead of the 2023 general election.
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Former Governor Mimiko who in on Tuesday a shared photograph with the other politicians, tweeted: “Nice to share some time last night with @GovWike @ Donald_Duke @PeterObi @HEDankwambo @ Gov Samuel Ortom, @ Governor Ikpeazu , Mohammed Adoke SAN and many other friends.” Wike and Obi had met before but no official engagement was perfected between the two politicians.
However, due to the prolonged crisis in the PDP sparked by the faceoff between Wike and PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar, speculations are rife that the Rivers chief may severe relationship with the party while he continues to explore his next political.platform.
Meanwhile, the much-awaited meeting between the Atiku’s and Wike’s camps failed to take place Monday night in Port- Harcourt. The Trumpet learnt that the two sides agreed to meet in the Rivers State capital to commence negotiation towards reaching a truce to fortify the party’s position ahead of the presidential campaign. But the meeting could not hold because Atiku’s team failed to show up.
A source said the team could not make the trip because of failed flight schedule from Yola International Airport to Port- Harcourt Monday evening.
Most of members of the Atiku team led by Adamawa Governor, Rt. Hon. Umaru Fintiri, on Monday afternoon attended receptions in honour of the former vice president and for about 1600 members of other political parties that defected to PDP by the state chapter of the party.
Apart from its Chairman Fintiri; others in the Atiku team are former Minister Adamu Waziri; erstwhile Cross River State governor, Liyel Imoke, one-time PDP governorship candidate in Ekiti State Eyitayo Jegede, and Jide Adeniji.
Expected for the Wike side were former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Bello Adoke; erstwhile Information Minister, Professor Jerry Gana; as well as Duke, Mimiko and Dankwambo.
During the day in Port- Harcourt, Wike and his allies were busy felicitating with a former governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili, whose 74th birthday anniversary was celebrated. It was later gathered that when it became obvious that the Atiku/ Wike parley could not hold again, they retired to the governor’s residence where Obi was hosted.