The identity of the leaders in the Peoples Democratic Party that worked against the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike emerging as the vice presidential candidate of the party has been revealed.
A member of the PDP’s Board of Trustees has revealed how the national chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu, Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, and Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal met with the presidential candidate of the party, Atiku Abubakar not to pick Wike as his running mate.
Atiku in an interview on Arise TV last week claimed that the committee setup by the party to search for a running mate did not suggest Wike.
The former Vice President stated that the committee only suggested three names to him and he decided to pick the governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa from the list.
Governor Wike while reacting to Atiku’s statement noted that he will on speak on recent happenings in the party.
A member of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT) who spoke with Daily Independent on the condition of anonymity said Governor Wike has every right to be angry.
He further stated that the party leadership are trying to reach out to him to stop him from revealing sensitive information as it will only worsen the situation.
The BoT member while stating what happened in the party said, “The party set up a committee for the search of a running mate.
“In giving the committee the assignment, the party leadership penciled down three names of serving PDP governors.
“The three names were Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom; Nyesom Wike of Rivers and Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State.
“In the course of the deliberation, the members were told to speak on the three men. 14 spoke in favour of Wike while three spoke in favour of Okowa. Nobody recommended Udom.
“The panel then resolved that having gotten the highest recommendation, the vice presidential candidate should be Wike.
“That is why if you look at the report submitted by the committee, Wike’s name is number one on the list, followed by Okowa and Udom’s name is in third position.
“After the meeting ended, the information got to Wike on what transpired. So, he was already aware that he is the choice of the committee.
“After the national chairman was aware that it was Wike that was recommended by 14 out of the 17-member panel, he strongly objected to it because he felt Wike will go after him and make his position to be ceded to another zone. Of course, that was the agreement they had when they wanted to make him national chairman.
“The agreement was that Ayu will step down if the presidential candidate emerges from the North.
“Ayu then assembled some pro-Atiku people and they went and met the presidential candidate in the night.
“They then prevailed on him that he cannot work with Wike as he will be too strong for him and that Okowa will be easier to work with. That was how the story changed from Wike to Okowa.
“It is a very choice for Atiku to accept Okowa because he invested heavily in Atiku’s campaign during the PDP primaries. So, Atiku picking Okowa is like a reward.
“Governors Godwin Obaseki, Udom Emmanuel and Aminu Tambuwal were part of the people who accompanied the national chairman to Atiku’s place.
“Atiku himself was not really comfortable with Wike based on the confrontations between them in the past.
“After the convention, he met with Wike and promised to make him his running mate but some of his associates and party stakeholders warned him against it.
“Wike was planning to come to Abuja for the unveiling but as soon as he got a report that his name has been changed to Okowa, he stayed back. Many of the governors who also felt dismayed by the rejection of the panel recommendation also stayed away from the unveiling of Okowa.
“That was why governors were not in attendance when Okowa was unveiled. Only Obaseki and Bauchi State governor, Bala Mohammed, were in attendance.
“The Bauchi governor thought it was Wike’s unveiling but when they told him it is now Okowa, he didn’t like it and left.
“When the Southern governors were asking for Southern presidency, Okowa was going through the backdoor to work for Atiku.
“That was why Wike was angry after the primaries and he accused some governors of betraying the South.
“That is the whole truth about what transpired. I don’t know if there are other things that Governor Wike knows which may not be privy to some of us. But even if he does, how will that resolve the issue? It will only make matters worse.”