The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has postponed its National Executive Committee (NEC) and National Caucus meeting, following the protracted rift between its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike.
Telescope.ng reports that the meetings of the two critical organs were originally scheduled to hold on Wednesday and Thursday, August 10 and 11 respectively.
A statement by the PDP national secretary, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, said the postponement was due to “unforeseen circumstances.”
He said new dates for the meetings would be announced in due course.
Although the secretary did not disclose the “unforeseen circumstances” that warranted the postponement, party sources said the decision was informed by a hardline position taken by the Rivers State governor in the ongoing effort to reconcile him with Atiku.
Among other demands, the Wike camp has called on the National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, to step aside and allow one of his deputies from the South to take the office.
The demand is being made in view of the fact that the PDP presidential candidate, the chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) and the National Chairman are all from the North.
A source said the invitation extended to Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu by Wike to commission projects in Rivers State ruffled some feathers in the top party hierarchy of the PDP.
According to the source, Wike’s decision to invite the Lagos State governor, who is of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), to commission projects in a PDP-controlled state, was meant to spite the party leadership.
Wike had on July 8, received three APC governors – Governors Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State and Sanwo-Olu – a few days after Atiku announced Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa as his running mate.
PDP stakeholders are said to be uncomfortable with the latter-day hobnobbing of the Rivers governor with APC chieftains, especially close allies of the APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Wike was reportedly favoured by some highly placed PDP stakeholders and powerful interest groups for the party’s vice presidential slot.
But Atiku on June 16, announced Okowa as his running mate, against a recommendation by a selection committee, which tipped Wike for the position.
Atiku had won the May 29 PDP presidential primary with 371 votes while Wike came second with 237 votes.