A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Princewill Dike, has said embarrassing defeat stares the presidential candidate of the party, Atiku Abubakar, in the face if he ignores the demands of Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike and his camp.
Dike blamed Atiku and the national party for mismanaging an internal crisis he said should have been nipped in the bud.
Describing Wike as a force, a performer, and great mobiliser, he said the Rivers Governor remained the backbone of the PDP noting that any attempt to call his bluff would spell doom to the party’s moves to reclaim the centre.
Dike, a Port Harcourt-based lawyer, said the Rivers Governor was fighting for justice, inclusiveness and equity and had the sympathies of many of his colleagues, party leaders and many Nigerians.
Dike, in a statement on Wednesday, said it was inconceivable that all key positions in the party such as the national chairmanship, presidential candidacy and chairmanship of the Board of Trustees are occupied by the north to the detriment of the south, which has sustained the party.
e said Atiku and the PDP would be playing God if they decided to go into a crucial election in 2023 with a flawed and northernised PDP structure.
Dike said the current structure of the PDP at the national level vitiated the party’s constitution, which provides for fair distribution of offices to give all zones a sense of belonging.
He said: “The Presidential Candidate of the PDP will be playing with fire if he chooses to ignore the demands of the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike and his camp. Those people hanging around him and mounting pressure on him to call the bluff of Governor Wike are leading him to the abyss.
“It will be foolhardy for Atiku and some enemies of the PDP to think that a governor, who mobilised resources, fought federal government and rebuilt the party most of them abandoned, no longer matters at this crucial time.
“Governor Nyesom Wike is a mobiliser, a performer and a strategist, who has the support of most of his colleagues and leaders of the party. He exerts nationwide influence and has the capacity to sway votes not only in Rivers but also in the entire Southsouth. How can you think of ignoring your best commander in a time of war?
“Let reason prevail and let Atiku and the party do the right thing by restructuring the PDP to give the South a sense of belonging and ensure unity ahead of the poll. The time to act is now because the delay we have witnessed has already become dangerous”.