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‘Dealing With Wike Needs Tact, Sophistication, Which Atiku’s Group Are Unable To Implement’ – Atiku’s Aide

The former Special Adviser on Research and Strategy to former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, Umar Ardo, has revealed why it is challenging to expel the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Ardo, during an interview with PUNCH asserted that the PDP presidential candidate in the 2023 election, Atiku, has lost a grip on his structure considering the recent happenings and outcome of the last election.

He reiterated that Wike played a huge role in exercising effective control of the process of leadership in PDP when Atiku defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) and returned in 2017.

According to him, Atiku’s emergence as the PDP flagbearer in 2019 and 2023 was due to specific national dynamics within and outside the party politics.

Ardo added that Wike is getting away with sanctions despite his anti-party activities because dealing with him requires tact and sophistication, which the Atiku’s group are unable to implement.

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He said, “I don’t think the majority of the party organs are still with Atiku. Don’t forget that Atiku came back to the PDP after his sojourn in the All Progressives Congress only in 2017, by which time Nyesom Wike as the governor of Rivers State was exercising effective control of the PDP. It was Wike that brought Ali Madu Sheriff as party chairman, and it was him that removed him at the party convention in Port Harcourt where he (Wike) brought in the Ahmed Makarfi National Caretaker Committee.

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The Makarfi Committee then produced the Uche Secondus-led national leadership of the party. And if you know how the leadership of the PDP is formed, you will know that governors effectively control the process. All these happened while Atiku was outside the party, and in fact, outside the country. It was afterwards that he came back and joined the party, courting favours from the governors.

One of the conditions given to him was accepting the preferred candidates of the governors for the 2019 general elections. For example, in Adamawa State, the governorship candidate of the party in 2019 was Amadu Fintiri. Fintiri was Wike’s candidate for Adamawa State given to Atiku as a precondition for Atiku to get their support in rejoining the party. Atiku had no choice but to accept him even though he wasn’t his preferred candidate. And it is the same process that was used to get the Dr Iyochia Ayu-led National Working Committee.

You saw the role Wike played in the removal of Secondus, illegal as it were, and the installation of Ayu. That Atiku managed to emerge as the party’s presidential candidate in 2019 and 2023 was just a result of certain national dynamics within and outside the party politics. This explains why Wike is still in the party and getting away with it without sanctions. So, dealing with Wike in the party needs tact and sophistication, which the Atiku’s group seems to either lack or be unable to implement.”

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