There are emerging indications that a former governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke is working hard to frustrate the River State governor, Nyesom Wike from securing victory for his candidate, Uche Secondus, as national chairman of the PDP. The party converges on Abuja on December 9, to elect its new officials.
Imoke is believed to be working towards the emergence of a candidate from the south-west. He is also making efforts to convince delegates from his state, to follow his footsteps. But the sitting governor, Prof Ben Ayade is now believed to have joined the Wike team to produce Secondus who was once an acting national chairman of the party.
Sources said Imoke was more comfortable with promoting a former governor for the seat, as he was not comfortable with the influence that Wike was wielding in the party. Imoke and Ayade have not been best of friends politically.
But the Akwa Ibom State governor, Udom Emmanuel is said to be working hand in hand with the Wike team. But it was not clear where the Bayelsa state governor, Seriake Dickson stands on the matter.
Although the PDP spokesman in Bayelsa State told TNN over the telephone that the party in the state was going with the governor, he would not say which of the candidates the governor was supporting.
He however hinted that there may be some alignments and re-alignments on the eve of the convention, and suggested that Dickson was more favourable to waiting for the dying minute to know where the pendulum would swing before taking a stand.
He also said the governor was more interested in the unity of the party and had no consideration for tendencies that could divide the party.
This is coming just as former president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan is gearing up to for the convention. It is not clear though, whether the current romance from Dickson towards him would result in the governor treading the same path as Jonathan during the convention.
But Jonathan believes that the PDP would emerge stronger and get ready to return to power in 2019, after the convention.
Addressing journalists after a visit to the Wike at the Government House Port Harcourt, Jonathan said that an elected National Working Committee will set in motion the preparation for the 2019 General Elections.
He said: "God willing, we will go through the national convention and the party will become solid.
"You know we have a caretaker Committee. When you have a Caretaker Committee, you are not as strong as a fully elected chairman. The party passed through some challenges. Luckily for us, we have passed through that phase with the pronouncement of the Supreme Court ".
"We want to formally elect the officials of the party that will lead the party to the 2019 elections. I am very hopeful that on the 9th of December, we will elect our leaders ".
Speaking on the performance of Wike in the last two years, Jonathan said “he is one of the best governors in terms of commitment, in terms of putting structures on ground, in terms of coming up with creative policies.
"He met certain structures, he has improved on them and he has built new roads and infrastructure. I was even asked to come and commission one of the roads. That is why people call him Mr Projects. He has been accepted by Nigerians as a performing governor ".
Meanwhile, Wike has declared that the leaders and members of the PDP are working for the emergence of a National Chairman who will drive the party to electoral victory in 2019.
He said all stakeholders are building to re-position the PDP, noting that no zone has been left out in the political equation.
Speaking when he granted audience to a national chairmanship aspirant of the PDP, Chief Raymond Dokpesi at the Government House Port Harcourt, Wike also berated those calling for the micro-zoning of the National Chairmanship position . He said the position was zoned to the entire South.
He said: "No region has been left out. PDP is not in power. PDP is an opposition party. We are working for a chairman that will drive PDP and make PDP to win elections.
"The chairman is not going to share contracts to any zone for you to say a particular zone is left out. It is only when a government is formed that you talk about a zone being left out"
He said that he will join other stakeholders to ensure that PDP emerges victorious in future elections.
The governor charged PDP members to remain vigilant as APC is working round the clock to sow seeds of discord amongst party members.
He reiterated that he had no intention to vie for the position of vice president, saying that as a first term governor, he is focused on the delivery of good governance to Rivers people.
“I am a first term governor. How can I leave my state to go and vie for the post of vice president", he said.