A former Vice President Atiku Abubakar who is hoping to get the presidential ticket from the PDP might be having a headache with the technical endorsement of Dankwambo by Wike.
Some PDP governors between Sunday night and early yesterday held a closed door meeting at the Government House in Gombe, where they reportedly discussed “the excessive powers” being wielded by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State with a view to checkmating him.
Sources said the meeting which had some PDP governors and representatives of others in attendance, also witnessed the presence of some members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party.
It was gathered that besides discussing how to reclaim the party, the PDP leaders also discussed the probability of fielding Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo as their presidential candidate, next year.
Wike or his representative, as well as the National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, were conspicuously absent at the meeting, with sources saying the duo deliberately absconded because they were “the main subjects of discussion.”
Wike was widely reported to have worked for the emergence of Secondus as PDP national chairman, and since the December 2017 convention, he (Wike) had remained “very powerful in the PDP.” Two party stalwarts, professors Jerry Gana and Tunde Adeniran at the weekend defected to the Social Democratic Party (SDP); citing Wike’s alleged overbearing influence as motivation for their departure.
At the end of yesterday’s meeting in Gombe, the PDP leaders only told journalists that they were not happy with President Muhammadu Buhari’s alleged laxity in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgents and the poor state of the economy.
Governors present at the meeting included Emmanuel Udom (Akwa Ibom), Benedict Ayade (Cross River), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Darius Ishaku (Taraba), Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe), and Rear Admiral John Jonah who represented Governor Henry Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State.
The National Secretary of the party, Umar Tsauri and the Deputy National Chairman (South), Elder Yomi Akinwumi were some of the NWC members that attended the meeting.
The PDP had zoned its presidential ticket to the North and at present, it had only two serving governors from the region, Dankwambo who was serving his second term and his counterpart in Taraba, Ishaku who was about three years into his first term.
“The governors are actually looking inwards,” a source said. “They want one of their own as possible presidential candidate that would challenge President Muhammadu Buhari,” he said.
Another source conversant with the internal intrigues of the party confided that soon after the convention, Governor Wike had been boasting that he handpicked the executives of the party and would always have his way. “He is the one who prompted serious party leaders to leave recently,” he said.
Addressing newsmen after the meeting, Fayose who is the Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, said the abduction of 110 girls at a school in Dapchi, Yobe State, confirmed the ruling APC’s “nonchalant attitude in the fight against insurgency in the North East.”
The PDP governors also alleged that President Buhari’s administration had failed to fulfil any of the campaign promises made to Nigerians before the 2015 election.