Atiku Vs Wike Crisis Rattles PDP Ahead of NEC Meeting

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The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is facing deep internal divisions ahead of the upcoming National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting scheduled for April 17 and 18, as governors, senators, and House of Representatives members become embroiled in power struggles within the party.

Sources within the party reveal that the battle for supremacy is primarily between former vice president Atiku Abubakar, the party’s 2023 presidential candidate, and former Rivers State governor and current Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike. Wike is reportedly in control of the leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives caucuses, along with a considerable portion of the National Working Committee (NWC) and state chairmen.

On one side, Wike has garnered support from serving PDP governors including those of Bauchi, Oyo, Plateau, Zamfara, and Taraba States. Conversely, governors from Bayelsa, Edo, Rivers, Delta, Adamawa, and Akwa Ibom are aligned with former Vice President Atiku.

The power tussle extends to the PDP Senate caucus, where Abba Moro remains influential as minority leader. While the Senate caucus remains intact, there are conflicting opinions within the House of Representatives’ PDP caucus.

The acting chairman of the NWC, Umar Ililya Damagum, is accused of being aligned with Wike’s faction, with Atiku’s camp pushing for his removal to reinstate a chairman from the North Central region.

However, sources indicate that Atiku’s camp may struggle to garner sufficient support to dislodge Damagum during the upcoming NEC meeting, signaling potential challenges for Atiku’s influence within the party.

The ongoing rift is viewed as a precursor to the 2027 presidential elections, with new generation leaders in the party aiming to thwart Atiku’s presidential aspirations. Wike’s camp reportedly favors Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State as a potential candidate, adding further complexity to the internal dynamics.

The outcome of the NEC meeting is anticipated to have far-reaching implications for the PDP’s unity and future prospects, particularly in light of the upcoming electoral cycle.

The party’s internal crisis dates back to 2022 and escalated following Atiku’s emergence as the presidential candidate for the 2023 general elections. Wike’s refusal to support Atiku compounded the party’s challenges, ultimately impacting its electoral performance.

Efforts to reconcile the opposing factions within the party have been unsuccessful thus far, highlighting deep-rooted divisions that threaten the PDP’s cohesion and electoral viability moving forward.


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