The internal crisis threatening the chances of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2023 election worsened on Monday as Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, called on the party to apologise to Nigerians over the divisive comment by the party’s Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
Wike made the demand at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa in Ikwerre Local Government Area shortly after arriving from his short trip to Spain.
The Rivers State Governor was in Spain with his counterparts; Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), and Samuel Ortom (Benue), as the G-5 governors continue to seek the way forward after PDP national chairman Iyorchia Ayu has refused to resign despite their repeated calls for him to step down.
Atiku had in Kaduna on Saturday, while responding to a question posed to him by the spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, said that Northerners don’t need candidates from the South for the 2023 elections.
The PDP flagbearer was quoted as saying, “I know the whole of this country. I have built bridges across this country.
“I think what an average northerner needs, is somebody who is from the north, who also understands the other parts of Nigeria, and who has been able to build bridges across the rest of the country. This is what the northerner needs.
“He (the northerner) doesn’t need a Yoruba or an Igbo candidate. This is what the northerner needs. I stand before you as a pan-Nigerian of northern origin.”
Mr. Wike regretted that such comments came at a critical time of transition.
According to the Rivers governor, the PDP must as a matter of urgency address the issue in order for Nigerians not to view the party which is preparing to take over power in 2023 as insensitive and devoid of justice which it preaches.
He however added that Atiku’s comment has justified their call for equity, fairness and justice.