By Akinwande Soji-Ojo
The chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sen Walid Jibrin, has said the party will do whatever it takes to ensure Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, doesn’t leave the party.
Jibrin stated this on Monday, while addressing journalists in Kaduna State.
Wike contested the presidential ticket of the PDP but lost to former vice president, Atiku Abubakar.
After the presidential primary in May, Wike had accused southern leaders of “betrayal.”
Also, when the choice of a vice presidential candidate was being considered, Wike was said to be among the three preferred persons for the ticket, but Atiku picked Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa.
Following the development, there have been speculations that the Wike may defect. He has also received several politicians in recent times, including Peter Obi and Rabiu Kwankwaso, presidential candidates of the Labour Party and New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), respectively.
Speaking on efforts to ensure that the party remains united ahead of the 2023 election, Jibrin said a reconciliation committee will be constituted to visit the Rivers governor.
“We in PDP know how to solve our problems. We know that Governor Nyesom Wike may not be happy. It is the intention of this party to constitute a reconciliation committee that will meet Wike to talk to him, appeal to him, and pray that he will not leave our party,” he said.
Jibrin described Wike as “a great man who has been fighting for the party, and the party will not want to see him moving to another party.”
He also said the party will meet with all the persons who participated in the primaries.
“We will all visit Wike together and if it means kneeling to Wike, we will kneel for him.
“We respect him. We respect his integrity and honesty in supporting the PDP. It is our belief that in any contest, there must be a winner and a loser,” the BOT chair said.
He also advised members of the party to be united in order to win the 2023 elections, adding that the PDP lost the recent governorship election in Ekiti State because of lack of unity.
“I want to call on PDP members to come together and work together in unity.
“We should not be divided against ourselves. We must unite within ourselves. If we begin to have problems among ourselves, there would be more problems for us.
“What happened in Ekiti should not happen in the next governorship election in Osun State. We lost Ekiti because we are not even united among ourselves. If we are united, we would have won in Ekiti hands down,” Jibrin added.