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The PDP primary election has been held and the party’s presidential flag bearer has emerged. And of course, it’s not Governor Nyesom Wike that got the ticket.

Former vice president Alhaji Atiku Abubakar  emerged the party’s standard bearer, beating his closest contender, Nyesom Wike fair and square without contention. The Adamawa born politician polled 371 votes, while Wike polled 237 votes.

Many would say they expected Atiku would come out tops at the primary despite stiff competition from Wike but they certainly couldn’t have expected the election to go the way it did. Nyesom Wike had done his home work. He had traversed the length and breadth of the country and wooed all the delegates. He also fought with a massive war chest at his disposal. He had the structure, he had the support. He made all the noise necessary and aligned with the right power brokers, but he still came short of winning the coveted ticket. He knew Atiku was no push over. He knew the old warhorse was far more experienced than he was, having spent more years in the political battlefield and had an intimidating war chest at his disposal so he was prepared for a fiercely contested battle. Yet, he lost by such a wide margin. So, what went wrong? How did Atiku outsmart the gun blazing Nyesom Wike who had been firing on all cylinders months before the election? Let us tell you what went wrong.

InfoOnlineNews can authoritatively reveal that the master stroke played by Atiku, who got another aspirant, Aminu Tambuwal to step down and align with him, was the one big move that dealt a major blow to Governor Wike’s presidential ambition. Wike did not see this coming. Not from Tambuwal, whom he supported heavily and expended a large chunk of Rivers state resources on to help actualize his Sokoto governorship ambition back in 2014. According to Wike, it was nothing short of an act of betrayal.

In his address on Monday, Wike said some persons in the party had nothing much to offer in terms of votes.

“We have done our best and and the whole world has seen that we have done our best. If I wanted to scuttle this convention, I would have done that. And I told them,” he said.

“There are people you think are human beings but they are not. As far as I am concerned, [there is] conspiracy. I have told everybody — go and bring your own vote. Sokoto, Zamfara, Niger bring your votes. It’s not about the north. We have come to the point of bring your votes, so that people can win election.

“I’ve never seen how people can violate procedure. Somebody I have spoken with and it is at that point he was speaking that he can say ‘I am withdrawing’. He now turned it back. I just said ‘look, this our party must not be destroyed.’

 But those who should know have also opined that Wike was the architect of his own downfall at the primary. Rather than make more political allies, Wike was losing allies! He was making enemies within and outside the party every passing day. For instance, he lost votes from Edo state owing to his face off with Edo governor, Godwin Obaseki. It will be recalled that Wike and Obaseki were pretty close a couple of years ago when Obaseki dumped the APC for PDP on which platform he won the gubernatorial election. They fell apart and Obaseki directed that all Edo delegates should not vote for Wike but Atiku.     

Apart from Obaseki, Wike has also had running battles with for PDP presidential aspirant, Peter Obi and several other prominent party members. It is believed that because of his uncouth attitude and confrontations with many party leaders, the leadership of the party was weary of having Wike as its presidential candidate. So, there was a gang –up of some sort even at the executive level, to ensure Wike didn’t get the ticket. It was no surprise to many when, barely 24 hours after the convention, the chairman of the PDP, Iyorchia Ayu, paid Tambuwal a visit in his private residence and hailed him as the ‘hero’ of the convention. Clearly, the man was happy Tambuwal helped them ensure Wike didn’t get a sniff of the ticket by withdrawing from the race and directing all of his supporters to vote for Atiku

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