Majority organs of the PDP are not with Atiku, his days are numbered in the party unless he drops his presidential ambition – former Special Adviser on Research and Strategy to former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, Dr Umar Ardo
“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.
“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 as 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.
“I want you to know that as Vice President, I was Atiku’s adviser on Research and Strategy, but when he stopped listening to my advice, I pulled back and watched him. He made so many errors that denied him the presidency; he so much believed that it was his to pick on a silver platter.
“It is reasonable to assume that the press conference Atiku held after the Supreme Court judgment on his appeal was significant enough for the key members of the party, of which the governors are central, to attend.
“Many of them were in Abuja, but none attended his press conference; only for them to meet and congratulate Wike, Atiku’s key opponent in the party, in less than 24 hours on his appointment. They also pacified him (Wike) on the crisis he was having with his governor.
“They immediately moved straight to hold a press conference and endorse the judgment of the Supreme Court, which Atiku vehemently disagreed with.
After that, the Chairman PDP Governors Forum, Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, visited the Presidential Villa and addressed the press there, extolling the leadership virtues of the President (Bola Tinubu) for intervening in a purely PDP affair. What are all these supposed to tell you? It is an indication that the PDP governors are simply not with Atiku; which means his days are numbered in the party unless he drops his presidential ambition. If he does that, then the governors will all rally around him and pour all sorts of encomiums on him as the best statesman in the country just to gain his support for their various ambitions.”