Labour Party’s (LP’s) presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, and Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed, have met behind closed-doors with Rivers State Governor and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwart, Nyesom Wike.
Obi, a former Anambra State governor, arrived the Government House in Port Harcourt yesterday and was received by Wike.
Both of them were said to have gone into the office of the Rivers State governor where they discussed briefly.
They came out after the discussion but refused to comment on any issue as Wike bade his visitor goodbye.
There were indications that their discussions centred on the development in the PDP and the unfair treatment the party meted out to Wike during the presidential primaries.
It was learnt that the process that led to the choice of Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as the running mate to the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, was part of the discussion.
Obi was also said to have solicited Wike’s support for his presidential ambition ahead of the 2023 general election.
It was gathered that Mohammed, who was among PDP’s presidential aspirants, came shortly after Obi departed the Government House.
Like in Obi’s case, Wike reportedly ushered in Mohammed to his private office, where only two of them held secret discussions.
Sources said Mohammed, who refused to speak on the motive behind his visit, came out of the meeting and hurried into his vehicle.
But it was learnt that Mohammed’s visit was on the heels of the controversies that trailed the process that led to the selection of Atiku’s running mate.
The Bauchi governor’s visit was said to be part of the fence-mending efforts to placate Wike to enable the party address his grievances.
Though Mohammed is a known friend of Wike, it could not be ascertain whether he came on his own accord or he was sent by Atiku.
Also, the Southern Nigeria Peoples Assembly (SNPA) yesterday warned former Vice President Atiku Abukakar that ex-Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu was damaging the chances of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of winning the 2023 presidential election by his “malicious attitude” towards Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike.
It described as “ungraceful cum uncomplimentary” Aliyu’s view in a TV interview on Tuesday that the Rivers governor lacks the capacity, character and temperament to be Atiku’s running mate.
The group, in a statement by its Leader, Livingstone Wechie, said: “The assertions by the former governor of Niger State raise a lot of concern, even if it fails the sensitivity test completely. As a matter of fact, his view of Nyesom Wike – an illustrious and highly celebrated Ikwerre son – is an affront not only to his ethnicity and region but the Nigerian state particularly in the face of the current political and economic disputations and contradictions bedevilling the Nigerian State today.”
It said Aliyu acted “far below dignity” and un-statesman-like, adding that his comments appeared to be aimed at fuelling a crisis and fanning the embers of avoidable conflict within the ranks of the PDP “at a time the party should be mending walls and begging for peace after a fierce and sharp contest which shook the political atmosphere almost to a negative trajectory”.
According to the group, the former governor’s impact and role in the development of the PDP “is very scanty and non-existent”.
SNPA noted that Aliyu’s claim that Wike hijacked the PDP and chased members away, was “very timid”.
It stressed that such utterances “are not only aimed at further dividing the party, but putting it at the risk of losing the undeniable cult followership and votes from the over 230 local government areas that voted Nyesom Wike at the presidential primaries. This garrulous and flippant move is possibly to the detriment of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in 2023, if not arrested now”.