As the search for the next National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party continues, Saturday PUNCH has uncovered the reason former Rivers State governor and Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, and former President of the Senate, Abubakar Saraki visited one another.
Saraki and Wike contested the PDP presidential primary, but lost to former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar.
The former President of the Senate was appointed into the PDP/Atiku’s campaign team and with the support of others worked for the party in the presidential election.
Wike, who called for the removal of the suspended national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, for South-North balance, alongside his G5 faction, worked against the interest of Atiku and the party in the 2023 presidential election.
The former Rivers State governor who worked for President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress was appointed minister of FCT.
Upon assumption, Wike declared that he remained a member of the PDP only working with President Tinubu to transform Nigeria.
As the call for Wike to be sanctioned gathers momentum, many members of the PDP are also demanding the replacement of the acting National Chairman, Umar Damagum.
In a new twist, Wike on Tuesday stormed Saraki’s house located at Lake Chad Crescent, Maitama, Abuja.
A credible source who is a high-ranking member of the PDP National Working Committee revealed to Saturday PUNCH that the issue about who would succeed Damagum was part of the reason Wike visited Saraki.
The source who does not want his name mentioned in the print disclosed that Atiku and a few party leaders had settled for Saraki to succeed Damagum.
He said, “We are aware that the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku, and a few party leaders are discussing the person that will succeed the Damagum. In recent times, I am aware that Atiku and some of these leaders have settled for Saraki.
“They settled for Saraki because they believed he had the charisma and the political will to reposition the party. So, discussion is ongoing within party stakeholders.”
When asked about who the next PDP National Chairman would be unveiled, he said, “What is delaying the process is the Atiku and PDP’s case before the Supreme Court.
“Once the Supreme Court rules on the presidential election matter between now and November, the leaders will come out open and things will pick up.”
When contacted by our correspondent, Saraki’s media aide, Yusuph Olaniyonu, described the visit as a “friendly visit”.