A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Princewill Dike, has said the party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, cannot win the 2023 election without the support of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.
Dike, who is an ally of Wike, advised Atiku to meet the demands of the Rivers governor and his camp, saying that any attempt to call his bluff would spell doom to the party’s attempt to reclaim the presidency.
In a statement on Wednesday, Dike blamed the former Vice President and the party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, for mismanaging an internal crisis which should have been resolved earlier.
Dike said it is an injustice for all key positions in the party to be occupied by the North to the detriment of the South, which has allegedly sustained the party.
The PDP chieftain said the Rivers governor was fighting for justice, inclusiveness and equity and had the sympathies of many of his colleagues, party leaders and many Nigerians.
He said: “The Presidential Candidate of the PDP will be playing with fire if he chooses to ignore the demands of the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike and his camp. Those people hanging around him and mounting pressure on him to call the bluff of Governor Wike are leading him to the abyss.
“It will be foolhardy for Atiku and some enemies of the PDP to think that a governor, who mobilised resources, fought federal government and rebuilt the party most of them abandoned, no longer matters at this crucial time.
“Governor Nyesom Wike is a mobiliser, a performer and a strategist, who has the support of most of his colleagues and leaders of the party. He exerts nationwide influence and has the capacity to sway votes not only in Rivers but also in the entire Southsouth. How can you think of ignoring your best commander in a time of war?
“Let reason prevail and let Atiku and the party do the right thing by restructuring the PDP to give the South a sense of belonging and ensure unity ahead of the poll. The time to act is now because the delay we have witnessed has already become dangerous”.
Dike said Atiku and the PDP would be playing God if they decided to go into a crucial election in 2023 with a flawed and northernised structure.
He said the current structure of the PDP at the national level violates the party’s constitution, which provides for fair distribution of offices to give all zones a sense of belonging.
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