Single Term, Ayu To Go, Senate President’s Slot – What Wike’s Camp Demanded From Atiku @ London Meeting

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Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike and his allies who are at loggerheads with the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, increased their demands on the party’s candidate during a meeting in London last Thursday.

The meeting was aimed at getting Wike to support the former vice president’s bid for the presidency.

Wike, who returned to Nigeria on Friday from London, confirmed his various meetings with Atiku, APC Presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, Peter Obi of the Labour Party and former President Olusegun Obasanjo, adding that he toured to seek remedies that would restore enduring hope to Nigeria.

Sources at the meeting in London said Wike, alongside his allies – Governors Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, Seyi Makinde of Oyo State and former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke – aside from insisting on the removal of the party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, also demanded for the alteration of the North-dominated National Working Committee (NWC) of the party.

The source continued on other demands: “Wike and his allies demanded that Atiku puts in writing, his commitment to serve for only one term if he wins, to pave way for power shift to the South; demanded to produce the new PDP National Chairman from the South-west Zone once Ayu steps aside; demanded that the Wike camp should produce the Senate President, Principal officers of the National Assembly and key ministers if the PDP wins; and that the Wike camp will nominate a Director General for the Atiku Campaign Organisation.”

Because constitutionally, the party’s Deputy National Chairman (North), Umar Damagum, should become Chairman if Ayu resigns, the source said the Wike camp also demanded for the resignation of Damagun, so that another person from the north would not become chairman.

“Wike’s people said Ayu and Damagun will have to resign and pave the way for the man they are planning to put forward, i.e. Taofeek Arapaja, deputy national chairman (South), to be in charge of the party,” said the source.

At the end of the meeting, Atiku allegedly told Wike and his team that he would think about the demands and get back to them within two weeks.

It was also gathered that Wike’s team’s meeting with Tinubu and Obi was used to explore the possibilities of strengthening the quest for a Southern President.

“They, Wike and his allies, at the meeting with Tinubu and Obi, examined the possibility of working together to actualise the Southern Presidency dream. They also examined the possibility of Obi stepping down for Tinubu,” said another source.

The PDP governors aligned with Wike in his face-off with Atiku, who angered them by saying he did not pick Wike as his running mate because he could not work with him.
Atiku was accused of being “impolitic”, further worsened by public statements made by his own allies – former governors Sule Lamido and Babangida Aliyu – which Wike’s associates consider reproachful.

Lamido described Wike as an “emperor” and said Atiku did not need him to win the presidential election.

Culled from Arise News

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