Wike, Ibori, Makinde’s Visit to Tinubu Triggers Unease in PDP; Wike Counters Defection Allegations

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is reportedly feeling uneasy as Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, and former Governor James Ibori of Delta State paid a visit to President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Friday. Although there are concerns within the PDP about this visit, Governor Wike denied any intention to defect to the APC. According to reports, when asked about potential plans to join the APC, Governor Wike responded with a firm “Don’t say that.”

Governor Wike, along with four other PDP governors—Governor Seyi Makinde, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, and Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State—previously opposed the nomination of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as the PDP candidate for the 2023 general elections. They demanded the resignation of the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, who was from the north, and the appointment of a southern chairman.

The PDP G5 maintained their stance, which was based on the principle of zoning the 2023 presidency to the south, and they declined to support Atiku and the PDP during the February 25 presidential election, which was won by Tinubu of the APC. In that election, the PDP lost in Rivers, Oyo, and Delta states, with the APC winning in Rivers and Oyo, and the Labour Party winning in Delta. Prior to the elections, these states were traditionally PDP strongholds.

After the 2023 general elections, Atiku and the PDP lost to Tinubu and the APC, and Ayu was removed as the PDP national chairman. However, there have been limited efforts towards reconciliation by the new PDP leadership since the conclusion of the general elections. Atiku and the PDP, along with Peter Obi of the Labour Party, are currently challenging Tinubu’s victory and the APC’s success at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.

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