Wike vs Atiku: Ekiti, Lagos, Edo, Others
The widely publicized rift between the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, is reportedly affecting moves to unite state chapters of the opposition party.
Recall that Nyesom Wike, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Chief Olabode George, and many others had pulled out of the Atiku Presidential Campaign Council pending the resignation of the party’s National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu.
While the PDP presidential candidate is doing everything to unite the party for the forthcoming elections, the state chapters have remained divided.
Some individuals who are part of Wike’s camp and leaders of some state chapters have reportedly vowed not to back Atiku in next year’s election.
However, Vanguard reports that others opposed to them have remained steadfast in their bid to ensure Atiku succeeds President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
See a list of States currently divided between Atiku and Wike and their major players:
Cross River State
It is understood that in Cross Rivers State, while a former governor and member of the reconciliation committee, Liyel Imoke, is in the camp of Atiku, another former governor, Donald Duke, is in Wike’s camp.
While a former Deputy National Chairman, Chief Olabode George, is with Nyesom Wike who, he said, was fighting for justice and equity in the PDP, the party’s governorship candidate in the 2023 elections, Olajide ‘Jandor’ Adediran, is with Atiku.
With the governor-elect in Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke, backing the Atiku group, a governorship aspirant in the last election, Dotun Babayemi, has joined the Wike group.
In Ekiti, those in the Atiku camp include former deputy governors Kolapo Olusola Eleka, Dr. Sikiru Lawal, and Senator Abiodun Olujimi. Others are the factional state chairman, Deji Ogunsakin, a former PDP chairman, Gboyega Oguntuase, PDP State Publicity Secretary, Raphael Adeyanju, state Woman Leader, Sade Akinrinmade, former Deputy Speaker, Segun Adewumi, and former House of Assembly member, Hon. Samuel Omotosho.
Those in Wike’s camp include former Gov. Ayodele Fayose, Lere Olayinka, all party candidates except Senator Olujimi, former acting Gov. Tunji Odeyemi and the Secretary, Elders Council, Idowu Odeyemi.
In Ondo State, the two-term governor, Olusegun Mimiko, is backing Wike, while his political son and former governorship candidate of the PDP in the state, Eyitayo Jegede, is with Atiku.
Also, a former deputy governor, Hon Agboola Ajayi, who was in the same camp with Mimiko during the last governorship election in Ondo, is not on the same page with him this time around. Ajayi is with Atiku even as he’s contesting for the Senate seat in Ondo South.
Many leaders of the party in the state who spoke with Vanguard recalled how Wike and Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State bankrolled Jegede’s governorship election in 2020 and also supported the PDP while Atiku ignored the party during its trying times after Jegede lost the election to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In Edo State, while Governor Godwin Obaseki is undecided, the South-South zonal Chairman of the party, Dan Orbih, is a staunch supporter of Governor Wike.
Sources said the Atiku camp and that of the National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, have made moves to win Orbih over from Wike by recognizing his faction against that of Obaseki, but such a move has failed.
In Ogun State, the party’s governorship candidate, Hon. Ladi Adebutu, his running mate, Abdulkabir Akinlade, and the Sikirulahi Ogundele-led executive are with Atiku while others queue behind Wike.
Whereas in Oyo, Governor Seyi Makinde is a senior member of the Wike group, many party leaders in the state are rooting for Atiku.