Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State is one of the most influential Governors in Nigeria who has a major say in the affairs of his party.
Wike and his key allies especially those from the South: Governors Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State and some other key PDP members pushed for the North to get the post of National Chairman. According to a report by The Punch, they did this so as to pave way for the South to get the presidential ticket of the PDP. This is because the PDP tradition over the years has it that the National Chairman and the presidential candidate cannot come from the same region (South or North).
Image credit: The Punch
This means that if the National Chairman comes from the North, then the presidential candidate would come from the South. But, PDP surprised many members of the party and other Nigerians when it gave the North a nod to still contest for President under the party in 2023. This was part of the agreement reached before Northern leaders endorsed former Senate President, Iyorchia Ayu, as their consensus candidate for PDP National Chairman.
Image credit: Dateline
Ever since that decision was made, Wike and his allies have maintained a calculated silence. The ever outspoken Wike did not say anything. Makinde also kept quiet just like Emmanuel. Obaseki did not say anything either but he visited President Muhammadu Buhari days ago for reasons not well explained. Obviously, the decision of the PDP leadership to allow the North to still contest the presidential ticket might not have gone down well with Wike and his allies who favour the South to produce the party's flagbearer. So, PDP needs to be bothered for a number of reasons.
Image credit: Inside Oyo
First, Wike and others may withdraw their strong support for the PDP. Reports had it that Wike is a major financier of the party. Wike also said this when he addressed the PDP NEC while the party was trying to settle his clash with embattled PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus. If he and his allies withdraw their financial and other supports they give the party, it may affect PDP very well.
Image credit: PM News
Also, they may decide to oppose the decision at the eleventh hour. Opposing this decision at the eleventh hour may be a big surprise for the party. This is why the party needs to know what their stand is on the issue. Wike, Makinde, Obaseki, Emmanuel and others are politicians who want to push what they believe will favour them. Allowing the North to still contest for the post is not very fair to the South. They may oppose this later.
Moreover, they may choose not to back whoever emerges the PDP flagbearer from the North. In this case, they may choose to remain quiet and avoid playing key roles in the campaign of the party if someone from the North wins the ticket. Some PDP Governors that later defected from the party did this kind of thing months before their defection. This will have a big effect on the chances of the party.
Image credit: Premium Times
Finally, Wike and his camp have another option. That option may be to consider defection as a last resort. If they feel cheated or not given the opportunity they deserve by PDP, then they may choose to go to another party that will give South the ticket in 2023. Although, this may be a last resort if PDP fails to address the issue, however, it is a possibility that should not be ignored by PDP leadership.
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