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Wike’s Choice: A Ministerial Nomination That Has Rocked the PDP’s Ecosystem

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ABUJA, Nigeria – The political landscape of Nigeria has been rocked by the nomination of the immediate past governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, as a minister by President Bola Tinubu.

The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is now scrambling to respond, with internal consultations on Wike’s position within the party intensifying.

Wike’s nomination has thrown the PDP into a fresh crisis, following the internal tensions that arose when the party opted to choose its National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, and presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, both from the North, for the last elections.

Wike’s displeasure with this decision led to his estrangement from the party, culminating in his nomination by President Tinubu.

Acting National Chairman of PDP, Ambassador Umar Damagum, spoke to journalists on Friday, July 28, 2023, revealing that “consultation was already in progress on the Wike issue.” He added, “We are already consulting with the PDP Governors Forum on the matter and the National Working Committee (NWC) will be meeting on Monday to take a definite position on it.”

Damagum’s statements contradicted allegations that the PDP has been inactive since the election outcome, arguing, “There is no lull in the PDP like you said, just because you have not seen us moving to the streets. Consultations are ongoing with key stakeholders.”

The PDP’s internal workings have been further complicated by the fact that the party has not convened its National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting in the last 10 months.

Damagum explained that unresolved issues and ongoing court cases related to the presidential election were delaying the NEC meeting.

Concerning the allegation of receiving backing from the Wike camp, Damagum asserted his neutrality, saying, “I am neutral in the entire fray and that I would remain neutral in the overall interest of the PDP.”

The intrigue does not end there. Wike’s nomination is only part of a broader political maneuvering, with sources confirming that the former governor has been working to draw his four other friends in the G-5, comprising fellow PDP governors, closer to President Tinubu.

A source close to ex-Governor Ortom revealed that reconciliation was afoot with Senator George Akume, the leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Benue State.

Akume might lead the group to meet with President Tinubu after a scheduled meeting involving Wike and other members of the G-5.

The nomination of Wike, his ongoing efforts with the G-5, and the PDP’s attempts to rally its forces and maintain internal cohesion reveal a complex and rapidly shifting political scenario in Nigeria.

The decisions taken in the coming weeks by both the PDP’s leadership and President Tinubu will likely have long-lasting implications for the country’s political landscape.

With alliances being formed and broken, the unfolding drama puts the spotlight on the strategies, decisions, and loyalties of key political figures in Nigeria, all at a time when the nation’s politics seem to be entering a new and unpredictable phase.

The events surrounding Wike’s nomination are emblematic of a larger political narrative that is still being written, one that will shape the direction and dynamics of Nigerian politics for years to come.

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