A close ally of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 general elections, Atiku Abubakar, has revealed why it will be difficult to suspend or expel former Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, from the main opposition party.
Wike, who was recently named the FCT Minister by President Bola Tinubu, had stated that the party cannot sanction him because of his acceptance to serve in the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government.
The former River State Governor claimed that the party’s leadership at various levels asked him to accept Tinubu’s nomination.
During a recent appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today, the Minister said he had yet to see the person who would expel him from the party.
He said, “Governance is not about party. The party is a vehicle that conveys you. I’m a PDP member, unrepentant.
“I never hid my intention. As a PDP member, I came out to support fairness, equity, and justice. I feel at home working for the government of Tinubu. He is a man who means well for the country.
“I’m not here to work for a party. I’m here to support the President who has confidence in me. I owe nobody an apology.”
Asked if he wasn’t concerned about possible suspension, Wike responded, saying, “How can anybody talk about expelling me? With all due respect, I have not seen that person. Nobody will do it. So the issue that they will do it does not arise
“Who will discipline me? I should be the one calling for the discipline of people who violated the party’s constitution on rotation,” he added.
Calls have since heightened for the expulsion of the FCT Minister and other individuals in the PDP who worked against the PDP.
Other party leaders who worked against Atiku in the last presidential election include: the governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde; former governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi; former governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu; and Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, among others.
Other PDP leaders who also admitted to not working for the party’s presidential candidate in the election are former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose and Chief Bode George, as well as their supporters in the party.
Atiku’s ally told Saturday Sun that Wike’s issue and fate will be decided after the conclusion of the ongoing elections litigation by the party.
He said the party’s leadership and elders, including members of the National Working Committee and National Executive Committee, have been urged to maintain decorum until the issues are resolved.
He admitted that Wike is too entrenched in the NWC and NEC of the PDP, adding that it might be impossible to push the FCT minister out of the party.
He also stated that leaders of the opposition caucus in the two chambers of the National Assembly are loyalists of the outspoken former governor of Rivers State, noting that a good percentage of the NWC members expected to initiate his expulsion are loyalists of the minister.
He said until a fresh leadership is installed in the PDP, Wike will continue to call the shots, despite associating with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.
The PDP leader said when the court cases are concluded, the PDP may hold an emergency convention to elect fresh members of the party’s NWC who will not have their allegiance to Wike.
He said: “Wike was right when he said nobody can remove him or suspend him. He knows that he controls the different organs of the PDP form NWC to NEC, and even National Assembly caucuses.
“Wike funded the elections of many PDP governors who are in office, and they must have a say when you want to suspend Wike or expel him from the party completely. That’s the truth, and the PDP leaders understand this.
“Again, we’ve decided to focus on the different court cases on elections, especially the presidential tribunal. As soon as they’re resolved and we know where we stand, the issue of Wike will be decided.
“One of the ways to deal with him is to hold an emergency convention. That’s on the way. Once that’s done, Wike’s allies will be pushed out, and neutral people whose loyalty is to the party will come on board.
“We’ll revisit the composition of the minority caucuses in the National Assembly who are loyal to Wike. Like I said, for now, we are focusing on other priorities. But when all that is done, we will go back to Wike and handle his case, unless he repents.”