Efforts by PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar to manage the raging internal conflict threatening to doom the party’s 2023 challenge suffered yet another significant setback with reports of Oyo Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, rejecting an offer to preside over the party’s Campaign Council as Director General.
Governor Makinde’s snub is believed to be informed by his continued loyalty to his Rivers counterpart, Nyesom Wike, who is on a war path with Mr. Atiku Abubakar over issues related to the conduct of the presidential primary process and the selection of a running mate.
Wike, who lost to Atiku in the primary, has accused the former Vice President and other Governors of the party of malicious collusion against him and general disrespect, in spite of his contributions to keeping the party afloat when Mr. Atiku abandoned it for Dubai after his defeat in the 2019 General Elections.
In his ongoing commissioning of projects, the Rivers Governor has raised eyebrows with his open fraternization with counterparts and leaders of the APC and has warned of a looming defeat for the PDP due to Atiku’s poor management.
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State played a lead role during Wike’s challenge for the PDP primary ticket and has repeatedly asserted his persisting support for him. His rejection of the campaign DG position has complicated Atiku’s calculation who had hoped to recruit a chief campaigner with some level of popularity from his main opponent’s South Western region.
Sources add that Atiku’s flip-flopping, including his sudden and unexplained axing of Chief Gbenga Daniel as the DG of his campaign whilst as an aspirant to be replaced by Dr. Bukola Saraki, may have contributed to Governor Makinde’s decision to snub the offer and focus on his second-term bid.
The development has increased the anxiety within the party and frustrated allies of Atiku who fear that internal rebellion may prove the death knell for the party in 2023.