2023: Jang urges Atiku to fix the fences with Wike

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FORMER Plateau State Governor Jonah Jonah has urged Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar to mend fences with Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike.

Jang made the call in River State on Saturday during the launch of Omagwa Internal Roads construction in Ikwerre Local Government Area of ​​the state, where he was a special guest.

The former governor, who ruled Plateau State between 2007 and 2015 under the PDP platform, says Atiku will boost his chances of winning next year’s presidential election if he settles the rift between him and Wike.

Atiku, vice president of former president Olusegun Obasanjo (1999-2007), won the PDP presidential ticket in June, beating Wike, who came second in the primary, and other aspirants.

The former vice president, who is running for president for the fifth time since 1993, had participated in the primary against the call of many in the south of the country that another northerner not succeed President Muhammadu Buhari , a northerner.

After picking the ticket, he was advised by many party stalwarts to choose Wike as his running mate, but he ultimately settled for Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa who did not participate in the primary.

Okowa, a two-time governor, hails from the South-South like Wike, who also completes his second term next year.

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Atiku’s decision to dump Wike for Okowa has since led to a crisis in the PDP.

Although Wike’s camp leaders have said he will remain in the PDP, his actions and comments in recent weeks have shown that he may not work with Atiku as election campaigns begin soon.

Addressing the Amangwa community and Rivers officials at the kickoff, Jang stressed the need for Atiku to settle the dispute between him and Wike.

“Regardless of the outcome (of the party’s presidential primary), I want to encourage you (Wike) to continue to show leadership through your support for the Peoples Democratic Party, which has been integral to your coming of age.

“When this party was in trouble, you came to its aid. You, with the help of some of us, were able to save this party on its way to the Federal Republic of Nigeria. And 90%, if not more, of the way we got this party back, you did it.

“You have kept faith in this party. You have supported everything that has made PDP what it is today. But I want to beg you, don’t give up.

“I want to call on our presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to close ranks with all members, especially your group members. Doing this will guarantee victory in the 2023 general election.”

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CIRI reports that efforts by PDP leaders to resolve the impasse have yielded no fruit.

During the road kick-off on Saturday, Wike criticized anyone attending a meeting on his behalf in Abuja, although he did not refer to a reconciliation meeting.

Atiku will go to the polls with Bola Tinubu, candidate of the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC), Peter Obi, candidate of the Labor Party (LP), and others in the elections on February 25, 2023.


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