The alleged offer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) 2027 presidential ticket to the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike by the presidential candidate of the party, Atiku Abubakar has led to disquiet in the party.
There are speculations that Atiku during his meeting with Wike on Thursday in Abuja promised to hand over to Wike in 2027.
Reports had it that Atiku had promised to support Wike’s ambition as a means of gaining his support in the 2023 general elections.
Sources that spoke about the meeting stated that Governor Wike was more concerned about changes in the leadership of the party.
According to the source, the decision of Atiku to support Wike’s ambition in 2027 has angered some chieftains of the party, especially in the southern part of the country.
A former national vice chairman of the party who spoke with the Nation on condition of anonymity said, “This is not the time to start talking about who will succeed Atiku. It is a distraction that is worse than whatever Wike and his people have been doing before.”
He further stated that it is not the duty of Atiku to decide which party of the south will take over power at the end of his administration.
The PDP leader noted that the promise to Wike if it is true is capable of demoralising our supporters in some parts of the country.
A group in the party identified PDP Volunteers Forum said it is not right for Atiku to open concede the succession to Wike, even though it is good that he offer to do just one term as president.
The convener of the group, Gerald Arikawe and Secretary, Ilemobade Oke in a statement said, “If not properly managed, the resultant anger from other zones of the southern region will harm our chances in the presidential election.”
A source in Governor Wike’s camp disclosed that the Rivers State Governor have been warned not to take Atiku’s word seriously.
They believe Atiku might be buying time with the offer in his desperation to secure Wike’s support in 2023.
The source said, “It is true that Atiku came to beg Wike again. He wanted Wike to urge his group to join the PDP campaign train. He threw up the card of supporting Wike in 2027.
“By this, Atiku is agreeing to do only one term if elected and leave the office for Wike to succeed him. The same Atiku who has several times denied promising to do a single term of four years in office before now? Why the sudden change of mind? Is he not the same man who promised that Ndigbo would produce his successor?
“He has also been assuring the Southwest of the same thing. We have told Wike to beware of Atiku and his Greek gift. We are very sure this is a ploy to get our support and renege on all the promises after the presidential election.”