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The 3 Men Who Will Determine ATIKU's Fate

As the countdown to the official party campaign for the forthcoming general elections has begun, all leading presidential candidates seem to have sorted out their respective internal crises and are good to go except for the presidential candidate of the major opposition party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP. Just last week, the PDP top members had an all-night meeting to solve the internal wrangling, and based on reliable reports, the all-night meeting had no headway.

Alhaji Atiku had thought his problems would be over once he settles his conflict with Rivers State Governor, who is a key influencer in the party, but recent findings have revealed that there are three major challenges within the PDP that Atiku would have to overcome have a good electoral outing in the forthcoming election.

To successfully defeat his competition, Atiku will have to battle and overcome the three men who own and control the structure of the party.

One of these men is Nyesom Wike. A UK-based Nigerian political analyst spoke to city people and warned that Wike is a key player in the forthcoming election. “Of all the stakeholders in the forthcoming election, Gov Wike is one factor that must not be overlooked. Aside from the fact that he’s still very powerful; he is got nothing to gain or lose in the forthcoming general elections. The most dangerous person to deal with is the man who has power, and has got nothing to lose or gain.”

“As far as PDP is concerned. Gov Wike has remained one constant politician who has never left the party and has continued to sponsor the structures while other key members decamp. His many controversies also keep the party on the headlines of newspapers for all years as apposition. Wike understands the language of his party members and so far, there is no pointer that they will no listen to him”, he stated.

It is reliably gathered that Governor Wike has no fewer than 7 PDP governors on his side, who are ready to go the way he advises. Some of them include Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Okezie Ikpeazu, Samuel Ortom, Seyi Makinde of Rivers, Enugu, Abia, Benue, and Oyo states respectively. Words on the street hold that Wike will be influencing his teeming supporters to divert their vote for a preferred candidate other than Atiku Abubakar.

A PDP member from the south told City People that the influence of Governor, Wike on the PDP structure cannot be over-emphasized. He made it clear that Gov Wike’s influence goes beyond the south-south PDP, but also in the North. “Let’s face it; Wike is more popular than any PDP Governor in the south. After Wike, Governor Seyi Makinde comes next. He is more popular and more influential than the chosen running mate. Gov, Ifeanyi Okowa, and his mobilizing power extend beyond the South.

“During the PDP presidential primaries, we were all there and saw how Alhaji Atiku narrowly escaped being defeated by Wike. It took the intervention of the Aminu Tambuals delegate to beat Wike. Atiku did not even get Kano”, he said.

The second major factor against Atiku Abubakar is the two-term governor, former minister, and former senator, Eng. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso. Yes, the same RMK who has defected to start a third force otherwise known as the New Nigeria People’s Party, NNPP, and under which he’s the presidential candidate.

The idea is that the New Nigeria Peoples Party presidential candidate, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso still maintains a cordial relationship with the PDP in Kano, despite moving to the NNPP. He is also on good terms with Wike. There are even reports that RMK handed over his Kano structure to Wike while he was leaving for the party he initiated. The idea is for a cross-section of his teeming followers to remain with the PDP and work from the inside.

Wike, according to the report intends to mobilize this bloc vote for Rabiu Musa Kwakwaso. Kwankwaso on the other hand has been reported to be softening the grounds for Asiwaju, as there are reports that RMK may soon step down for Tinubu and move his crowd to vote for him. Whichever way, RMK chooses to go, the odds are against Atiku as the PDP base in Kano still belongs to him.

The third factor against Atiku is Peter Obi. Yes. You guessed right. The former Anambra state governor, and presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP has a very strong following base within the PDP in the south. Recall that Peter Obi was the major political figure within the PDP that the south was expecting to be picked as a candidate before he defected to the Labour Party. Peter Obi’s popularity has been growing by the day. His resignation was a big blow for the PDP as it was hit with the mass resignation of key members from the South East.

Despite the emergence of Atiku Abubakar as the party flagbearer, there are still many PDP members from the south who feel cheated over the zoning system. These people, however, remained within the party to play the spoiler and ensure that the election is won by a southern presidential candidate.

Kajaiye Omosola, a Malaysian-based Nigerian writer advised that in all of Atiku Abubakar’s reconciliatory arrangements, he should put in his hierarchy of importance, Governor Wike, Eng. Kwankwaso and Peter Obi.

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