An ally to the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, Senator Olaka Wogu, has shared his thought about the lingering crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), ahead of the main opposition party’s 2023 presidential campaign kick-off on Monday.
Wogu who spoke expressly with newsmen over the weekend said nobody can at this moment predict what Wike and his group will do if PDP insists that the party chairman, Iyorchia Ayu will retain his position.
The party chieftain expressed concern that it will be disastrous if the party leadership failed to address the issues with Wike’s camp and go ahead with campaign processes.
Wogu said Wike and his aggrieved members would have to meet to decide on the next line of action as elections draw near.
“There is no way anybody can tell what the Wike group will do. That will only emerge when the group meets. We have a group and the stakeholders own the process. Wike is not by himself; there are other governors, former governors, senators, BoT members and prominent members, who are sympathetic to his cause and are star members of the party.
“The issue is, what do they want to do with this defiance; do they want to stand against it or accept it? But like I said, whatever the group decides will be a product of consultation.
“Certainly, you can expect that if that (Ayu’s refusal to step down) is the position the party has taken, in spite of the hue and cry of these members of the party, it’s unfortunate and regrettable and it is something that the Wike people are likely to view in those lights,” Wogu told The PUNCH.
Speaking on whether Wike’s camp is meeting anytime soon, Wogu said he was unaware of the next meeting date, noting that its meetings were usually informed by developments.
“I don’t think there is any day that at least one important member of the party is not talking to Wike. He is continually being spoken to by very senior members of the party and indeed Nigerians,” he said.
On whether or not the Wike group would concede the party’s decision, Wogu said, “Every opinion is legitimate to the opinion holder, so those who feel they should concede have their reasons and the Wike group not conceding has its reasons too. The Wike group members have not asked anything for themselves; it has been based on equity, justice, fair play, unity and honour. You said you would do this, do it.”
In his opinion, the demands of Wike and his allies were not personal. Wogu added that when people stand on principles, it could be a lonely road and it could be misunderstood, but that the other party should also rethink.
We Are Reaching Out To Party Stakeholders
Another report from the PDP Presidential Campaign Council earlier claimed that it is reaching out to all stakeholders to enlist their support for the elections.
The campaign council when questioned during an interview if it was reaching out to former President Goodluck Jonathan, for consultation on its activities said, “Nothing will be off the table; whatever will be for the good of the PDP and the nation will be done. Everything will be done to ensure that whatever outstanding issues are resolved.”
Responding to the questions on if the former President was still a member of the party, considering insinuations during the party primaries that he was holding talks with the APC, the Media Adviser to Atiku, Paul Ibe said: “Has Jonathan told anybody that he is not a member of the party? So, nothing has changed.”
On the lingering issues in the party involving the presidential candidate and Governor Wike’s camp, Ibe said efforts were being made to resolve the issues.
“I have said it and nothing has changed; every effort is being made to ensure that the lingering issues are resolved,” the spokesperson said.