Atiku Abubakar of the PDP looks set for another sound defeat in his fifth presidential bid as the influential governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, and his powerful group of backers resolved to abandon the former Vice President’s ambition.
The almost fatal political blow came this morning after a Port Harcourt meeting held by Wike’s faction of the PDP.
Atiku and the Rivers Governor had been locked in a power struggle over the conduct of the primary election that produced the former as the party’s flagbearer. Wike alleged unfair and illegal collusion before demanding the resignation of National Chairman Sen. Iyorchia Ayu partly as redress for the undue bias and also to dilute the ‘northern domination’ of the party.
Atiku, the presidential flagbearer, and the beleaguered Ayu are both from the north, a situation that has rendered his campaign a non-starter in the southern region of the country.
Wike’s abandonment of the campaign is expected to be followed by several other governors loyal to him. The move will cripple Atiku’s bid and starve his campaign of required funds needed to stage a meaningful contest.