Loyalists of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, are reportedly applying pressure on him to call the bluff of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.
Naija News reports that both Atiku and Wike are at loggerheads over moves to oust the party’s National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, and the aftermath of the PDP presidential primary.
Although the duo had agreed to desist from making inflammatory remarks, divisive comments are still being made to journalists.
While reconciliation has kicked off between both camps, Atiku’s men have faulted comments made by the governor, saying they appeared deliberately skewed to keep everyone guessing.
Atiku’s loyalists want the former vice president to cut his losses, “move on and concentrate on building the party ahead of the 2023 elections.”
Speaking to Vanguard, a party leader said: “It is heart-wrenching that this matter has dragged this long.
“It was agreed the last time that all parties desist from further making inflammatory remarks.
“It was borne out of this that Atiku caused a statement to be issued by his media team urging his supporters to bridle their tongues, but this act of goodwill is not being returned in kind. This is quite unfortunate.
“I must say at this point that Governor Wike has made up his mind about what he wants to do. Bending over backwards to accede to everything he has asked for will be shooting ourselves in the foot.
“Personally, I rather we cut our losses, move on, and concentrate on building the party ahead of the 2023 elections.
“We made significant inroads in Kano with the defection of former Governor Ibrahim Shekarau and his teeming supporters. These are the kinds of things we should be celebrating.”
Another party source said: “My reading of the situation is that there are other local issues in Rivers politics that are being elevated to the national.
“Comments being made by the governor, with due respect to him, appear deliberately skewed to keep everyone guessing. The truth is we cannot wait forever, something has to give.
“The truth is that whichever decision you take in politics, not everyone will be happy or accept it for one reason or another. Our presidential candidate has demonstrated good faith.
“However, it will be disastrous for anyone to contemplate a leadership change at this time, the issue of anyone removing Iyorchia Ayu as national chairman before the election does not arise.”
Another PDP stated that Governor Wike’s recent comments are putting the former vice president on edge, which is not going down well with the latter’s loyalists.
The source, a former member of the National Working Committee, NWC, said: “Wike is giving them (Atiku’s camp) signs that he will work against him. Wike is getting feelers that some interests around Atiku do not want the PDP presidential candidate to give in to his demands.
“Wike also has some people within Atiku’s camp, especially in the NWC. The anger with the Atiku camp is that Wike cannot be seen to be controlling the party. Also, Wike is expecting Atiku to give him an update on what was discussed at their London meeting but Atiku is yet to call him. That is why you hear Wike making those comments.”