Supporters of the Rivers State governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike, in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have given an “irreducible minimum condition” for reconciliation in the faceoff between them and the leadership of the main opposition party. The pro-Wike camp said the PDP national chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, must go, insisting also that they should be allowed to choose his successor.The supporters of the Rivers State governor urged former Senate President David Mark to speak up on the post-presidential primary election crisis. They alleged that Mark was with Ayu’s letter of resignation.
Those demands came ahead of today’s meeting of a six-man committee comprising representatives from the camps of the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and Wike, for reconciliation talks.But Atiku, in a statement yesterday, painted a gloomy picture of the country, stating that the statistics on Nigeria’s current position is grim and disappointing.Nonetheless, a group within the opposition party, ACTION 2023, declared that a federal administration headed by the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, would simply amount to another term for President Muhammadu Buhari, a situation unacceptable to the Nigerian constitution.
A source, who was a member of the previous National Working Committee (NWC) of PDP during the Uche Secondus tenure, said, “By ensuring the removal of Ayu, Atiku can be said to have shown that he has the capacity to keep to the agreement of inclusiveness, trust and avoid any victimisation of the supporters of the Rivers State governor.”
Speaking exclusively with THISDAY, the source, who pleaded anonymity, said, “Dr. Iyorchia Ayu has betrayed the confidence of the Rivers State governor, Wike. Nigerians know that Wike would have won the ticket, but for treachery. He lost the presidential ticket and the chances of becoming the running mate to the presidential candidate due to treachery.”
According to the source, “Wike has lost twice. He wants to be a stakeholder in the presidential campaign. So, we want the office of the national chairman, because of what we will be bringing on board. Wike has a lot to bring on board. He has capacity.”The source also alleged the PDP national chairman had already signed a resignation letter.
It said, “What is Ayu bringing to help Atiku? He should resign if he has honour. After all, he signed the resignation letter that he will resign if the presidential candidate comes from the north. The letter is with David Mark. David Mark should speak out.”The source explained that the purpose Wike was inviting APC chieftains to inaugurate some of the projects he executed was to show the world that he had capacity and had a lot to contribute to the party.”
It added, “Defecting to another political party is not on board.”The source, who played an important role in the sack of Secondus, added, “Wike lost the presidential ticket and the running mate position. He is asking for the office of national chairman. If Atiku is sincere, he should allow Ayu to go. He can appoint him as his chief of staff, if he wants to earn the trust of Wike and his supporters. We have a lot to contribute.”
Atiku Paints Gloomy Picture of Nigeria
In a related development, PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, yesterday, painted a gloomy picture of the country. Atiku stated that the statistics on where Nigeria was at the moment was grim and disappointing.He, however, said he was optimistic that under a PDP administration, there would be turnaround for good, as his policy team was working round the clock to move the country forward.
Atiku, in a statement he personally signed, said after spending time with his policy think tank, the mandate of the team was to come up with a policy framework that would guide the country to a promising future.
He lamented that the future was very grim, explaining that the modality for confirming this is to evaluate the country’s current performance in the areas of economy, security, education, and youth and women development. The statement said, “But there is good news. Nigeria shall rise again! The plan to get Nigeria back to the pathway of greatness is doable. Let me share a part of the plan with you, dear friend.
“Whereas the ruling party will blame our adversity on some isolated global events, what they won’t tell you is that their lack of direction and political will turned our economy into its current tinderbox situation.
“So, under my plan, we are going to be more proactive in the design of social and economic policies to forestall any challenges that may arise from domestic and global crises. We will also resume the monthly sectoral dialogue in order to enhance our joint understanding of the economy.
“This is an initiative that I conceived, when I was the Head of National Economic Council as Vice President in the Obasanjo administration. The direction and leadership that we provided is the reason why the economy recorded an annual average growth of 7.7 per cent in the six years preceding the APC-led administration.
“We also recorded a yet-to-be surpassed growth of 15.3% in 2002. The average growth of 1.1 per cent of this administration contrasts sharply with the aforementioned performance of our administration. We also did much better than this administration in growing the economy, taming inflation, building foreign reserves and in debt accumulation and management.”Atiku said the options before Nigeria in the upcoming election was a choice between the abyss where the APC had taken Nigerians and a tested capacity of the greatness that the PDP can lead Nigerians into.
He said it was a choice between failure to deliver on the promises made by the APC and the tested capacity that the PDP can lead Nigerians into. According to the former vice president, “I believe that as one, we can get it done.”
Group Dismisses Tinubu’s Presidency as Buhari’s Third Term
Meanwhile, a group in PDP, the PDP ACTION 2023, claimed a Bola Tinubu presidency would amount to an extension of the current Buhari administration. It said the APC presidential ticket was an attempt to give Buhari a third term in office.
In a statement by its chairman, Hon. Rufus Omeire, the group declared that APC represented an existential threat to Nigeria in all critical areas of nationhood.The PDP Action 2023 expressed surprise at the recent effort by a former APC national chairman and ex-Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, to distance the APC presidential candidate from the incumbent government, saying, “This is most disingenuous for many reasons.”
According to the group, “The APC presidential ticket for 2023 general elections is an attempt to give President Muhammadu Buhari a third term in office.“Recently, a former APC chairman and ex-Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, sought to distance Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, the APC presidential candidate, from the disastrous government of the incumbent president, General Muhammadu Buhari. This is most disingenuous for many reasons.“In the first place, by the provisions of the constitution of Nigeria, it is a political party that sponsors a candidate for presidential election. In this case, the ruling APC is sponsoring Tinubu.
“Secondly, for practical reasons, it is the name of the political party that will be on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ballot paper during elections and so, APC will be on the ballot, not even Tinubu.
“Thirdly, Tinubu is the acknowledged and recognised National Leader of the APC, a position he shares with President Buhari. Indeed, by Tinubu’s own admission, he was largely instrumental in foisting President Buhari on Nigeria.
“He has given crucial support to the APC government of President Buhari and repeatedly publicly praised the policies and direction of the APC government. He is the philosopher king of APC’s misrule in Nigeria.
“Fourthly, during the APC primaries, he was massively endorsed by the party to continue from where Buhari will stop. The word in the APC is continuity. The fulcrum of the APC campaign has been a firm promise to replicate the sterling performance of the APC government of Buhari, if Tinubu happens to win in 2023.“Make no mistake about it, a Tinubu presidency would be just another term for Buhari. Note that Tinubu and Buhari have the same divisive streak, the same arrogance and contempt for peoples’ views and feelings.
“Tinubu is even a worse version, as Buhari at least, resisted the divisive Muslim-Muslim ticket in 2015. Notwithstanding, they subscribe to the same policies and programmes. Tinubu is Buhari and Buhari is Tinubu.”