Bode George, a chieftain of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP has accused Atiku Abubakar, the party’s presidential candidate of abandoning the party during its trying moments.
George, a former Deputy Chairman, South of the PDP spoke amidst the rift between Abubakar and Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state over the continued stay in office of the party’s National Chairman, Iyorcha Ayu.
Abubakar has insisted that he will not force Ayu to resign, particularly after the PDP NEC passed a vote of confidence on him two weeks ago.
The crisis is a fallout of the emergence of Abubakar following the PDP presidential primary held in May this year. The Rivers governor has insisted on the resignation of Ayu over allegations of partisanship during the convention, and the need to balance elected positions in the party.
On Wednesday, Governor Wike and his allies which include, Governor Seyi Makinde, former Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang; former Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko; former Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, and some Governorship candidates among others, met in Port Harcourt, where they decided not to be part of the PDP campaign for next year’s election.
Political campaigns for the 2023 elections, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC timetable begins on September 28.
Not a few insist that the crisis in the party will affect its chances in next year’s election except if the feuding parties come together.
While some have blamed the party’s presidential candidate for failure to unite the party, an equal portion of the blame has been apportioned to Governor Wike for taking the issue too personally.
Speaking, George who was also present at the meeting with Wike justified the governor’s anger with the party and its presidential candidate.
According to him, Wike used his resources to hold the party together after PDP lost to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC in 2015.
The PDP chieftain said its presidential candidate abandoned the party at the most challenging moment, describing Wike as ‘an asset’ who saved the party from falling apart after it lost power at the center.
He however sued for peace among the warring parties so that PDP can return to power next year.
George said, “Wike is an asset to the party. There was a vacuum, Atiku came back and got the ticket last time, and immediately after that convention, he left the country for about a year or more. Who was the key man supporting the party?”
“We were back in opposition. Did he not spend his time and money making sure, with some other governors, so how can he not be an asset to the party? If you put your time and spend your money and wisdom, ensuring that the party didn’t collapse, would you be an asset or otherwise?
“I have been pleading with all sides that don’t let us turn this party to northern Peoples Democratic Party and southern Peoples Democratic Party. If we do that, the good wishes of the founding fathers would be lost,”
“If we bring about this unnecessary division, we are sending everybody back to the early time, the first republic, the second republic, it would portend evil.
“Wike lost that election. Atiku won. The PDP constitution, section 7 (3C) states that you must adhere to the principle of zoning and rotation, of elective offices and party offices.
“The founding fathers stated that once a presidential candidate is from the north, after eight years, it must go to the south. For our party.”The