In an interview with The Punch, Dr. Umar Ardo, the former Special Adviser on Research and Strategy to former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, discussed the crisis that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is currently experiencing as a result of the standoff between Nyesom Wike and Atiku.
In response to a question on whether Atiku Abubakar still controls the PDP’s organizational structure, he stated that he didn’t believe the bulk of the party’s organs were still in Atiku’s camp.
He said, “Do not forget that Atiku Abubakar came back to the PDP after his sojourn in the All Progressives Congress (APC) only in 2017, by which time Nyesom Wike as the governor of Rivers State was exercising effective control of the PDP.
It was Wike that brought Ali Madu Sheriff as party chairman, and it was him that removed him at the party convention in Port Harcourt where he (Wike) brought in the Ahmed Makarfi National Caretaker Committee.”
Further talking, he said that the Makarfi Committee subsequently facilitated the emergence of the Uche Secondus-led national leadership of the party.
He said understanding the intricacies of PDP’s leadership formation reveals the significance of incumbent governors, who control the majority of the process happening in the party.
In addition, Ardo said these developments unfolded during a period when Atiku Abubakar was not in the party, and he was, in fact, residing outside the country. Only afterward did he return and align himself with the party, actively seeking support from the governors, which made it impossible for him to win majority of them.