The crisis between the Peoples Democratic Party’s Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and the five aggrieved PDP governors may be far from over, this is even as the duo of Governors Samuel Ortom and Nyesom Wike shunned Atiku at the Makurdi Airport in Benue State.
Mr Abubakar whose presidential campaign is billed to hold in Nasarawa State on Monday decided to fly to Benue because he could not secure a landing clearance in Nasarawa.
About 20 minutes before his arrival, Governor Ortom arrived at the Airport and many thought he was there to receive the PDP presidential candidate.
However, about five minutes later, the PDP vice presidential candidate, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, landed at the Airport, and he exchanged pleasantries with Governor Ortom.
The latter was heard asking “So, you people will come to my state without telling me?”
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Moments later, a jet landed and Governor Ortom swiftly moved towards it to receive the person or persons aboard, it turned out to be Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.
The governors hugged and exchanged pleasantries and without wasting time, the two men entered their vehicle and zoomed off.
Twenty minutes later, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar arrived at the Makurdi Airport alongside members of the Presidential Campaign Council and the PDP national chairman.
He was only received by Governor Okowa and other party members; the absence of Ortom and Wike is a strong indication that the rift remains far from over.
This incident comes a day after Atiku Abubakar said he has met with Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State to resolve the lingering crisis within the party without any way forward.
Speaking on Sunday during the People’s Townhall, Atiku said “I have met Wike two times in Port Harcourt, two times in Abuja, one time in London, personally.”
“It is not on my part; it is on the other side; I am waiting for him,” he said, without revealing the kernel of his discussions with the Rivers governor.
Atiku was on the programme alongside his running mate, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
Wike’s 2023 presidential ambition was terminated when he lost the PDP’s primary to Atiku in May. Atiku, a former Vice President later stung Wike when he passed over his closest rival at the primary and chose Okowa as his running mate.
The Rivers State governor has since been at loggerheads with PDP presidential candidate (Atiku) over the chairmanship of Iyorchia Ayu. Wike with four other PDP governors known as the G5 or the Integrity Group have insisted that Benue-born Ayu must step down for a southerner as a precondition to support the 2023 ambition of Atiku.
Last month, Wike promised logistics support for the campaigns of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi; and his New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) counterpart, Rabiu Kwankwaso.
While Wike and his allies have not been seen to campaign for Atiku, it is not clear whether they will support Obi, Kwankwaso, or APC’s Bola Tinubu in the contest for Aso Rock’s top job.