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Olusegun Obasanjo, the former president, and Peter Obi, the contender for the Labour Party’s presidential nomination, met with Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State yesterday in London, suggesting that the crisis engulfing the Peoples Democratic Party, or PDP, may not be finished just yet.

Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the PDP’s presidential candidate, met with Governor Wike for reconciliation discussions yesterday in London.

The meetings came after the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu, had on Monday night, met with the Rivers governor and his allies also in London.

Though details of the meeting among Obasanjo, Obi and Wike were not disclosed, it was gathered that it was in connection with negotiations and alliances, ahead of the 2023 presidential election. Confirming the meeting, Chief Akin Osuntokun, former Political Adviser to Chief Obasanjo, told Vanguard that the leaders met in London.

Osuntokun said: “The meeting is true, it was held on Thursday (yesterday). Though I do not know what they discussed, I am sure they discussed politics and the formation of an alliance ahead of 2023.”

Some allies of Governor Wike, who were present at the London meeting included Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State; Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State; Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State and former Cross River State governor, Donald Duke, among others.

Atiku and Wike had been in a frosty relationship as a result of the fallout of PDP presidential primary and the choice of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as the vice-presidential candidate of the party.

In a move aimed at dousing tension within the PDP, the PDP presidential candidate, also yesterday, warned his aides, close associates and all party stakeholders against making utterances capable of jeopardizing the ongoing peace process.

This came on a day the Atiku camp faulted Tinubu’s meeting with Wike in London, describing it as a sign of desperation.

But a former Minister of Works and one of the major promoters of Bola Tinubu’s presidency, Senator Dayo Adeyeye, yesterday, declared that the intractable crisis in the PDP has rendered Atiku’s chances dead on arrival.

Proffering a way out of the PDP quagmire, the immediate past Deputy National Chairman, North of the party, Senator Suleiman Nazif, urged Atiku to lead all members of the Board of Trustees, BoT, on a reconciliatory visit to Governor Wike, as part of moves to pacify him.

Atiku finally meets Wike

The long-awaited meeting between Alhaji Abubakar and Governor Wike, finally took place, yesterday in London.

Details of the meeting of the meeting between the two PDP leaders were not disclosed but it centered around reconciliation and the need to move the party forward.

Those present at the meeting asides Atiku and Wike were Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State and his Benue State counterpart, Samuel Ortom.

Stop deriding Wike, others, Atiku warns aides, associates

On the heels of a backlash generated by comments made by former Jigawa State governor, Sule Lamido, against Governor Wike, Atiku warned his aides, close associates and all party stakeholders against making utterances capable of jeopardizing the ongoing peace process.

Lamido had in a television interview, alleged that Wike was acting like an emperor who was giving an impression that the people of the state were subservient to his whims and would vote as he (Wike) directs in 2023.

Atiku, in a statement by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, in Abuja, said: “It has become imperative to appeal to all party members, leaders and everyone related to, connected with or associated with the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar to desist from making comments that potentially reduce the optics of PDP’s image as a united political party.

“This appeal becomes necessary to call the attention of party leaders and members to the diversionary antics of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, which, in manufacturing a false impression of division within the PDP, aims to hoodwink the Nigerian public to overlook the monumental failures of the ruling party.

“Today, Nigerians look up to the PDP to lead the charge in ousting the ruling party. This expectation from the people is the reason why the APC is jittery about their impending fall in next year’s general election.

“It is also the very reason why the ruling party is manipulating the political process to create a sense of division in the PDP.

“Because they know that there is nothing to campaign with from their records of performance in office, the APC has elected to play the role of the devil’s advocate, regaling in celebration of their imaginary invincibility upon a fraudulent claim that the PDP is divided.

“It is for this reason that appeals to every true member of the PDP and anyone, who truly wishes the success of the PDP presidential candidate, to not fall for the antics of the APC in making statements that could give credence to the false claim of divisions in the PDP.

“All the leaders of the party, including especially Governor Nyesom Wike and all governors of the PDP are united in working for the victory of the PDP in next year’s general election across the board.

“What is at stake in the next year’s election is the future of Nigeria and all leaders and members of the PDP are on the same page in the mission to rescue Nigeria from the stranglehold of the APC.”

Tinubu’s meeting with Wike, sign of desperation—Atiku’s camp

Reacting to the meeting held between Tinubu and Wike in London, a close ally of the PDP candidate, dismissed the proposed alliance, saying it was a sign of desperation on the part of the APC.

Vanguard, however, gathered that the meeting was an attempt to salvage his relationship with the Rivers State Governor.

The source also disclosed that the Atiku-Wike meeting might hold this night (last night).

The source said: “He (Atiku) went on a business trip. We are deliberate about what we are doing; we are not under any pressure. The truth is that Atiku went on a business trip to Paris and he has been in Paris since. I am not aware he is going to London to meet Wike.”

On Wike agreeing to work for the APC in 2023, the source said: “That goes to show their desperation. The APC knows they have nothing to sell and they do not have enough capacity to market themselves to Nigerians.

‘’The APC is the government in power and you should expect that they (APC) will have enough credentials to market their candidate. Unfortunately, because they have failed Nigerians and they know that the only report card they have is a report card of hunger, tears and anger.

‘’All they are doing now is to canvass issues that will polarize our party and see how they can cash in on that but it can’t work for them.”

On the reconciliation committee submitting its report, he said: “Everything is going on smoothly, the meeting is going on well and the meeting does not need to have Wike present.

“They have the terms of reference from him and we have our terms of reference. So, we believe in God that everything will go on smoothly.

“What I also want you to know is that there is no quarrel in the first place. You know politics is about agreement and disagreements, it is about interest. At all times, you will see that all parties will try to come up with their different interests and that is not a problem.”

We’re yet to receive reconciliation c’ttee report — BoT chair

Meanwhile, the PDP Board of Trustees said it was still expecting the report of the reconciliation panel set up to look into the feud between Atiku and Wike.

Chairman of the BoT, Senator Walid Jibrin, who confirmed this development to Vanguard, said: “We are yet to receive the report. When it is ready, we will let you know.”

Why Atiku, BoT members should pacify Wike —Nazif, PDP chieftain

Proffering a way out of the crisis rocking the party, the immediate past Deputy National Chairman (North) of the PDP, Senator Suleiman Nazif, urged Senator Walid Jibril-led BoT to adopt a realistic approach to handle the crisis.

Nazif said: “The PDP presidential candidate and all members of the BoT should relocate to Rivers State and beg Governor Nyesom Wike. He should be allowed to vent his anger, ours is to pacify him.

‘’We, as BoT members, should come up with a realistic strategy which requires leadership, diplomacy and wisdom to handle Governor Wike.” On the call for the party’s National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, to resign, Nazif urged Ayu to honour his words.

PDP crisis, major albatross on Atiku’s chances —Adeyeye

Meanwhile, National Chairman of Southwest Agenda for Asiwaju 2023 Presidency, SWAGA, Senator Adeyeye, said yesterday that the exit of Peter Obi and Rabiu Musa Kwankawaso from the PDP had depleted Atiku’s votes and narrowed his winning chances.

On the rumoured meeting of Tinubu and Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, in London to perfect an alliance, ahead of 2023, Adeyeye said: “Tinubu has the network and strong political structures to amass 25% of votes in two/third of the 36 states.

‘’There won’t be any need for any run-off, because the APC has a strong candidate that can deliver.

“You could all remember that the PDP lost in the 2015 presidential poll to President Muhammadu Buhari because five governors defected to the newly formed APC. And if you look at the strength of adding five governors to the then APC, the two parties were of equal strength and that affected the ruling party.

“So in the coming election, the same scenario is playing out. About four months ago, Atiku, Obi and Kwankwaso belonged to the same party. So, Obi and Kwankwaso, who are now in LP and NNPP, will divide the votes that are supposed to be for Atiku in the coming election.

“But if you look at the APC, the party is intact and strong behind Bola Tinubu. Though some few people have defected and I think that affected all the major parties. If you look at the two main parties, you will realise that APC is the one that is more cohesive, stable and intact”.

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