The meeting, we gathered was sponsored by Gov. Udom Emmanuel and Gov. Ayo Fayose to checkmate the “overbearing ‘ attitude and influence of the Rivers State Governor, Wike who Udom believed wants to outsmart him in becoming the Presidential running mate of a particular Northern PDP presidential aspirant who has the support of all PDP Governors.
The coup-like meeting held behind closed door at the Government House, Gombe State commenced on Sunday night, lasted many hours and ended in the wee hours of Monday March 5, 2018 at the Government House in Gombe, where discussion on “the excessive and influential powers” being wielded by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State with a view to checkmating him.
Reportedly, Gov. Udom spoke angrily in the meeting and lambasted his Rivers State counterpart for displaying negative tendencies that are against the growth and unification of party supporters despite the reconciliation efforts put up by Gov. Dickson of Bayelsa State. “If we fail to call our colleague (Gov.Wike) to order and if we allow the ship of our great party to keep wandering in the high sea without us redirecting her on where anchor needs to be drop, Gov. Wike is about making our party to loss the 2019 Presidential Election”, he allegedly said.
Other Governors who were at meeting expressed displeasure on how the affairs of the party is poorly managed which caused more Stakeholders like Prof. Jerry Gana, a member of the BOT of the party and Prof. Tunde Adeniran, former National Chairmanship aspirant and others to leave the party to the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
Though discussion on how to reclaim the party from Gov Wike, the PDP Governors and leaders also discussed the probability of fielding Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo as their presidential candidate, next year.
Gov. Wike or his representative, as well as the National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, were conspicuously absent at the meeting having gotten the information that they were the main targets of discussions.
At the meeting attended by Benedict Ayade (Cross River), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Darius Ishaku (Taraba), Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe), and Rear Admiral John Jonah who represented Governor Henry Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, strategies to prosecute the forthcoming presidential election and other issues were discussed.
Gov. Udom emerged the Chairman Financing Committee and promised to contribute # 25million for a “campaign to cut Wike to size” which maybe launch soon on both print and electronic media.
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It should be recall that at the December convention, PDP had zoned its presidential ticket to the North and at present, it had only two serving governors from the region, Dankwambo of Gombe State who is serving his second term and his counterpart in Taraba, Ishaku who was about three years into his first term and is believed that both Udom and Wike want to be the running mate to any Northern PDP candidate favour by the Governors of the party.