By Linda Ike
The reconcilation meeting between the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar and Rivers state Governor, Nyesom Wike witnessed a setback as Atiku’s peace talk team failed to attend.
The meeting which was scheduled to hold in Port Harcourt, capital of Rivers state yesterday generated more reactions from members of the party and the general public as Atiku and his team abandoned it, saying that Atiku attended a traditional event in Yola, Adamawa state.
Prior to the failed session, both Atiku and Wike’s groups had set up a seven-man team each to consider the terms for peace in PDP and collaboration for the 2023 poll.
Those in Atiku’s camp are Governor Ahmadu Fintiri (leader), Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), ex-Governor Liyel Imoke, Senator Ben Obi and ex-Governor Sule Lamido.
The Wike’s team comprises Mimiko (leader), former Senate President David Mark, ex–AGF and Minister of Justice Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), ex-Governor Hassan Dankwambo; ex-Governor Donald Duke, Nnenna Ukeje, one-time Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) boss Jide Adeniji, Sen. Olaka Nwogu and Mohammed Abubakar from Kano State.
Both Atiku, and Wike were expected to be on standby during the negotiation for consultation on terms agreeable to them.
Wike”s team said there was no prior notice of the absence, but were later informed that the meeting could not hold because Atiku went for a traditional ceremony in Yola.
They expressed disappointment stating that since the traditional event would keep Atiku away, a shift of the session was mooted.
A source in Wike’s camp said: “We were all disappointed that the Atiku’s camp refused to show up after the two groups agreed on a common date.
“It shows that Atiku’s camp is not serious and it has demonstrated lack of interest in the peace talks. Their assumption is that Wike and his supporters are insignificant.
“We got to know from intelligence that they are feeling that they have secured Northern votes and we do not matter.
“We are all really angry that Atiku’s men can treat us like this. It is so unfortunate.”
Atiku’s Ally admitted that the two groups had agreed to meet in Port Harcourt.
The source said: “Since Wike came to Abuja to meet Atiku the last time, we decided that our group will be in Port Harcourt for talks.
“But the event in Yola altered the arrangement. We learnt that since the visit was a homecoming for Atiku, Fintiri, who was to lead the negotiation, had to receive the PDP candidate. Apart from meeting with some emirs, Atiku also paid condolence visit to some families.”
Also, the National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party ( PDP)Senator Iyorchia Ayu said he has no plan to resign.
There has been pressure from Wike’s camp for Ayu to resign on an alleged agreement that he would step down if a northern candidate emerges as a flag bearer of the party.
Since Atiku won the presidential primary of PDP, Wike’s supporters expected that he would resign
But according to a tweet by his media aide, Simon Imobo-Tswam, said Ayu will not resign hence he was elected for a tenure of four years.