Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has flown to the United Kingdom in an apparent attempt to salvage his relationship with Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.
Although Atiku has not officially confirmed the rationale for the trip, a source familiar with the matter who spoke to Channels Television did not rule out the Wike factor.
Wike had reportedly met with presidential candidate of the All Progressives Party, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Tuesday, perhaps exploring his options ahead of the 2023 elections.
Although the Governor has vowed not to leave the PDP, some believe he is motivated enough not to throw his weight behind Atiku’s campaign to become President.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Director-General of the Asiwaju Project Beyond, a political support group for Tinubu, Realwan Okpanachi said talks between Wike and Tinubu were going well.
“We can confirm to you authoritatively that Wike and his team met with Tinubu in London to discuss strategic alliance ahead of the 2023 presidential election,” Okpanachi said. “Both leaders appreciate the need to work together to ensure that Tinubu becomes the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2023.
“The question is, is Wike justified to take this particular step? The answer is capital yes. What do you expect from a governor that has given everything to sustain the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) only to be slighted, compromised and embarrassed by the same party and its leaders/officers?”
Okpanachi said Wike was taking the step to ensure his political survival after 2023 election.
“Wike is old and politically experienced and savvy enough to make his decisions. He is entitled to take any necessary step or measure that will guarantee his political survival after 2023 elections. There’s no better way to do it than forming a strategic alliance with Tinubu ahead of 2023 general election,” Okpanachi added.
“There is nothing in PDP for Wike anymore. He has lost his bearing and goodwill in the party. The political conspiracy against him in PDP is huge and unprecedented.”