Some governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday waded into the crisis rocking their party arising from the face-off between the River State Governor, Nyesom Wike and some power blocs over the minority leadership in the House of Representatives.
Six PDP governors who stormed Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital met with Wike over the insinuation that he is planning to abandon the party because his preferred candidate for the minority leader position, Hon Kingsley Chinda, did not emerge.
The governors that visited Wike include, Adamawa State Governor, Umaru Fintiri; Imo State Governor, Emeka Ihedioha; Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde; Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom; Sokoto State Governor, Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal; and Zamfara State Governor, Bello Mohammed Matawalle.
Wike had lambasted a committee set up by the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT) to investigate the controversy arising from the emergence of Hon. Ndudi Elumelu as the minority leader of the House of Representatives who assumed the position against PDP’s directive.
Speaking at a function in Government House, Port Harcourt, Wike described the committee led by former Senate President, Sen Iyorcha Ayu as the most corrupt in the history of the party.
The PDP NWC had nominated the lawmaker representing Obio/Akpor Federal Constituency, Hon. Kingsley Chinda, as it choice for the position of Minority Leader in the House of Representatives.
Also, Wike had congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari on his victory at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal against PDP’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, a move which sparked insinuations that he was moving towards dumping the PDP. The recent visit of the Ekiti State governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi to Rivers State further fueled insinuations of Wike’s intending exit.
But in an attempt to appease Wike, the six PDP governors, led by Tambuwal, met with him behind closed doors for over an hour.
A source close to Government House, Port Harcourt, revealed that the governors, who came on a peace mission, prevailed on Wike not to leave the PDP in light of his recent outbursts and seemingly hobnobbing with some leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Another source in Abuja, confided in LEADERSHIP Sunday that governors had to intervene because the matter was getting out of hand.
A member of the PDP BoT who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the action of the “governors was commendable because the party cannot afford to be plunged into a major crisis at this time.”
Efforts by LEADERSHIP Sunday to speak with Wike’s spokesman, Simeon Nwakaudu, proved abortive as he neither picked his calls, nor returned them.
However, speaking with newsmen after the closed door meeting, Sokoto State Governor, Tambuwal, explained that the six PDP governors visited their counterpart to commend him on his sustained delivery on projects in the state.
Tambuwal said they came to encourage Wike to continue to deliver quality projects and sustain good governance for the development of Rivers State.
The Sokoto State governor also declared that PDP remains strongly united in friendship and brotherhood.
He said: “We are here as brothers and friends to the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike in the spirit of brotherhood and friendship. To encourage and support him for the good governance he has given to the good people of Rivers State.
“The 100 days of the second term of Governor Wike is also why we are here. The spirit in Port Harcourt and Rivers State is that of celebration and thanksgiving and gratitude to God for such a wonderful leadership by Governor Wike.
“We are also here to join him and the good people of Rivers State in thanking God for his leadership and to thank God for giving the state a wonderful leader like him. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP ) is very strongly united”.
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