Several members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have confirmed the recent claim made by former Rivers State Governor and current Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike. According to Wike, he had notified the party’s leadership before accepting an appointment in President Bola Tinubu’s cabinet, which is led by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Ibrahim Abdullahi, and an anonymous source within the party have both verified the accuracy of Wike’s statement during interviews with our correspondent.
Wike, who assumed office as a minister several weeks ago, emphasized that he had sought the approval of key PDP leaders before accepting the offer from the APC-led government. Responding to criticism that his decision to work with the APC was a betrayal of his loyalty to the PDP, Wike stated, “They said they will sanction me for taking this appointment. That’s absurd. The President wrote to all 36 state governors to provide names for appointment. Didn’t PDP governors submit names? Before this appointment came, I wrote to the (PDP) National Chairman, the minority leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate, the zonal chairman of the party, my state chairman, and my governor. They all wrote back and said ‘accept.’ I have documented evidence. Disregard these critics.”
Meanwhile, members of the PDP NEC have confirmed that Wike, in a letter addressed to the party’s acting National Chairman, Umar Damagum, informed the party of the ministerial offer and his intention to serve in Tinubu’s cabinet.
Abdullahi, during an interview on Friday, revealed that Wike had sent a letter to the PDP acting chairman before accepting Tinubu’s offer. He explained that Wike’s letter informed Damagum of his decision to “answer President Tinubu’s clarion call” and requested approval. Abdullahi stated, “Wike decided to accept the offer after informing the party. However, the party did not respond, neither confirming its approval nor denying it. We simply remained indifferent and observed events.”
When questioned about the party’s decision to remain silent on the matter, Abdullahi clarified, “The letter was merely for information. It was evident from the wording in the letter that his decision was final. He routed the letter through the PDP Vice Chairman, South-South, Chief Dan Orbih, to the acting national chairman, explaining that it was time to prioritize a united and prosperous Nigeria over party affiliations.”
Additionally, another party member, speaking on condition of anonymity, corroborated the information, stating, “Wike informed all those he listed, including Damagum. They cannot deny it. He explained that Tinubu sought to form a government of national unity and competence and offered him a ministerial position.”
Regarding whether the party granted approval, the source remarked, “I’m not aware, but honestly, could any of these people tell him not to accept the offer?”
Call for Expulsion
In the midst of this development, the Deputy National Youth Leader of the PDP, Timothy Osadolor, has reiterated his call for Wike’s expulsion from the party due to what he describes as anti-party activities.
Osadolor emphasized the youth wing’s belief that there should be no exceptions when it comes to disciplining members involved in anti-party activities. He asserted, “We believe that the party will benefit more when it demonstrates its stance against anti-party activities, even among senior members. Wike has demonstrated opposition to the PDP, and he should not claim to represent the party’s interests.”
NWC Divided – Former Governor’s Concern
An anonymous two-time former governor from the North-West has expressed concern over the division within the PDP’s National Working Committee (NWC) caused by the rivalry between Atiku Abubakar and Nyesom Wike.
The former governor stated, “The two leaders, Atiku and Wike, are dividing the party’s leadership with their statements, and this is detrimental to our position as an opposition party.” He warned that the party’s future could deteriorate further if urgent steps were not taken to address the leadership gap.
He added, “The party is facing an uncertain future. As a leader of the party, I am concerned that Mr. Umar Damagum (the acting national chairman) has yet to present his plan for the party to the stakeholders. He is torn between his loyalty to Atiku and Wike. As things stand, the situation will only worsen because either Atiku or Wike must step aside for the party to regain its strength. My position is that the party’s leadership should stand firm and deal with those who worked against the party. If not, enforcing discipline in the future will be challenging.”
Former National Secretary of the party, Ibrahim Tsauri, urged party members to exercise patience, emphasizing that the Supreme Court would soon deliver a final judgment on the election petition. This judgment would allow the party to decide its next course of action. He concluded, “No single individual is significant enough to destroy the PDP, which remains the only organized and truly national party in Nigeria. We will address these issues at the appropriate time.”