Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Wednesday evening, visited Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate for the 2023 general elections, Atiku Abubakar, in Abuja.
Wike’s visit happened amidst search by Atiku and the opposition party for an acceptable southern running mate.
The PDP Board of Trustees Chairman, Walid Jibrin, had on Monday said, “The BoT will assist the party and surely the Waziri Adamawa (Atiku) himself to come out with a very acceptable Vice President from southern Nigeria.”
Atiku, who was also PDP presidential candidate in 2019, ran with former Anambra State governor, Peter Obi who left the PDP to become the presidential flag bearer of the Labour Party in 2023.
The PUNCH learnt that Wike reciprocated Atiku’s visit which the former Vice-President paid on Monday.
Unlike Monday’s meeting where a dissatisfied Wike met the camera shutters with an arching frown on his face, Wednesday’s meeting ended on a cordial note as the governor and the ex-VP beamed with smiles in a photo pose after the closed-door session whose details were yet unknown as of press time.
Atiku shared photos of the meeting on his verified social media pages. He said, “It was a pleasure to receive His Excellency Nyesom Wike in the company of notable leaders and officials of our great party, the PDP, at my residence today. I am proud of the promises that this spirit of camaraderie holds for our party as a united front that guarantees victory in the next election to rescue the country.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Atiku solicited the support of his rivals in the opposition party to defeat the ruling All Progressives Congress in next year’s election.
During the PDP presidential primary held at the Moshood Abiola Stadium on Saturday, Atiku polled 371 votes to defeat Wike, who got 237 votes; a former President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, 70 votes; the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Emmanuel Udom, 38 votes; the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, 20 votes; a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, 14 votes and an ex-President of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Sam Ohuabunwa, one vote.
The delegates were said to be surprised when the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, who was one of the front runners for the presidential ticket, stepped down and directed his supporters to vote for Atiku as a result of what sources said was due to the intervention of the northern elders, who were pushing for a northern consensus aspirant.
Wike had lambasted Tambuwal for stepping down for Atiku at the last-minute and had alleged that some PDP governors sabotaged him.