Six governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the weekend met with their Rivers State counterpart, Nyesom Wike, behind-closed-doors in Port Harcourt, the state capital. Governors Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa, Emeka Ihedioha (Imo), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto) and Mohammed Mattawale (Zamfara) arrived Port Harcourt about 6pm for the meeting on Friday.
Daily Trust gathered from impeccable sources that the visit was to appeal to Governor Wike to sheathe his sword and work together with other leaders of the PDP to ensure the party retained power at the centre in 2023. Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), Senator Walid Jibrin, told our correspondent in a telephone chat that the governors’ visit was occasioned by Wike’s utterances against a probe panel set up by the BoT, and allegations against some PDP governors which caused furore in the polity.
“The BoT has not been informed about the visit. But all I know is that all organs of the party are worried about Governor Wike’s utterances. So we are working together to solve the problem internally. “It is an internal affair of the party and we are handling it internally. All the organs of the party are concerned – the PDP Governors’ Forum, BoT, NWC, National Caucus and all that. So what we want is unity of the party,” he said.
Wike recently described a committee set up by the BoT led by Senator Iyorchia Ayu to investigate Ndudi Elumelu’s emergence as the minority leader of the House of Representatives as the most corrupt ever in the history of the party. Mr Elumelu was elected minority leader in July, despite opposition from the PDP national leadership which wanted Kingsley Chinda, from Rivers State, for the position. The party suspended Mr Elumelu and set up the committee to investigate how he emerged and why other PDP members in the green chamber violated the party’s directive on voting.
The governor further congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC who defeated the presidential candidate of his party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar, at the Presidential Elections Petition Tribunal.
Governor Wike at the same time accused some of his colleagues in the PDP Governors’ Forum of visiting Buhari at night, arguing that it was better for him to congratulate the president publically than visit him in the night like some of his colleagues do. He further warned the PDP not to toy with Rivers State, explaining that the state had the capacity to give the party a big fight. Similarly, the Chief Press Secretary to one of the governors in the North who was part of the visit, also told our correspondent in a telephone interview, yesterday, that the governors pleaded with Wike to always protect the interest of the party.
“His colleagues met with him and discussed the unity of the party. The meeting was purely a reconciliatory one. It was aimed at healing the wounds in the party and preparing it for the task ahead,” he said. But Governor Tambuwal told newsmen at the end of their meeting with Wike that the visit was to commend and encourage the Rivers’ governor to continue executing laudable projects in the state. Another source privy to the meeting said the visit of the governors was that of fence mending and peace building; a mission to broker peace between Governor Wike and Secondus.
The source, who declined not to be named, described as laughable the claims by Tambuwal that the meeting was to commend Wike. It was gathered that sequel to the governors’ visit, Secondus was in Port Harcourt on Saturday, where he attended the commissioning of a football academy by Wike.