A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party in Rivers State, Princewill Dike, has warned the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, not to make the mistake of ignoring the demands of the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, and his camp.
Dike said an embarrassing defeat awaits Atiku if he pays deaf ears to what, he claimed, was the “right thing to do” ahead of the 2023 elections.
Dike while speaking in Port Harcourt blamed Atiku and the PDP leadership for mismanaging an internal crisis that, he said, should have been addressed before it festered.
He described Wike as a “force, a performer and great mobiliser”, adding that he remained the backbone of the PDP and that any attempt to undermine him would spell doom to the party’s resolve to reclaim power at the centre.
Dike said the Rivers governor was fighting for justice, inclusiveness and equity and had the sympathies of many of his colleagues, party leaders and many Nigerians.
He said, “It was inconceivable that all key positions in the party such as the national chairmanship, presidential candidacy and chairmanship of the Board of Trustees are occupied by the north to the detriment of the south, which has sustained the party.
“The presidential candidate of the PDP will be playing with fire if he chooses to ignore the demands of the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike and his camp.
“Those people hanging around him and mounting pressure on him to call the bluff of Governor Wike are leading him to the abyss.
“It will be foolhardy for Atiku and some enemies of the PDP to think that a governor, who mobilised resources, fought federal government and rebuilt the party most of them abandoned, no longer matters at this crucial time.
“Governor Nyesom Wike is a mobiliser, a performer and a strategist, who has the support of most of his colleagues and leaders of the party.
“He exerts nationwide influence and has the capacity to sway votes not only in Rivers but also in the entire South-South. How can you think of ignoring your best commander in a time of war?
“Let reason prevail and let Atiku and the party do the right thing by restructuring the PDP to give the South a sense of belonging and ensure unity ahead of the poll.
“The time to act is now because the delay we have witnessed has already become dangerous.”