Wike, not Atiku, chased Obi out of PDP – Ibe


From Left: Atiku and Wike.

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According to Ibe, Wike actively undermined efforts to zone the ticket to the South East, fearing it would diminish his chances of clinching the nomination.

As the repeatedly failed attempts by Nyesom Wike to install himself as emperor of Rivers State politics despite having spent his own constitutionally permissibletwo tenures of eight years is now clearly revealed to be responsible for crisis in the state, another chapter of how he negatively impacted on Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s chances of winning the 2023 presidential election.

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Paul Ibe, spokesperson of presidential candidate at the election, Atiku Abubakar, let the cat out of the bag when he accused Wike, who is the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), of pursuing personal interests at the expense of the party’s collective goals.

Ibe reportedly stated this in a Seun Okinbaloye’s Mic On podcast released on Saturday, a media report said.

He said, “Well, Wike has charted different paths to serve his interest because I don’t understand what interest, is it the PDP interest? It cannot be. It is his interest all well and good for him.”

Ibe’s comments was coming in the wake of the political tension between Wike and Atiku which was said to have contributed to the exit of Peter Obi from the party and his subsequent emergence as the Labour Party (LP)’s standard-bearer.

Addressing the circumstances surrounding Obi’s departure, Ibe stated that Atiku did not orchestrate the split but that Wike did.

“Atiku Abubakar didn’t in any way force Obi’s exit from the party. It’s not about relationships (Atiku managing the relationship between himself and Obi), there were factors,” he explained.

Paul Ibe, was specific, as he pointed fingers at Wike, who he accused of playing a pivotal role in Obi’s exit from the PDP due to his ambition to secure the presidency for the southern region.

“Wike was also instrumental to Obi’s exit because Wike had promoted his zone of the presidency to the south. Atiku had said that he was prepared to get himself off the ticket if the party zones to the ticket to the southeast,” Ibe revealed.

According to Ibe, Wike actively undermined efforts to zone the ticket to the South East, fearing it would diminish his chances of clinching the nomination.

“Wike frustrated that effort because he believed that if it was zoned to the South and not the South East, he would have been in the best position to get the ticket. So he was instrumental in the exit of Obi out of the party,” Ibe asserted.

Reflecting on the 2019 presidential election, Ibe acknowledged the viability of the Atiku-Obi ticket, suggesting that the Labor Party’s performance in the recent polls drew votes away from the PDP.

“No doubt that the Atiku-Obi ticket of 2019 was a viable ticket and remained viable (if it happened in the 2023 elections) because the Labor Party took away some of the votes of the PDP,” he stated.

Ibe further urged all stakeholders, including Atiku, to examine what went wrong.

He said, “I believe this is time to reflect and look at what went wrong, and I want to believe that all the actors, including His Excellency Atiku, have that reflection, perhaps that is why he (Atiku) keeps urging for a coalition of the opposition because if they stand together, that allows them to be able to oust the ruling party,” he said.

The rift between Atiku and Wike continued to split the party. The former Vice President and ex-Rivers State governor were holding on to their structures in the PDP and working at cross-purposes.

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