PROMINENT traditional rulers and notable retired military officers from the Northern part of the country have thrown their weight behind the presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, over what they perceived as the unsalutary manner the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, is insisting Atiku must force the national chairman of the party, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, to resign.
The eminent northern leaders have also resolved to adopt a campaign slogan of “Alhaji Atiku, namu namu ne” meaning – Alhaji Atiku is our own, as their slogan. An impeccable source, who held a prominent position in the administration of the former head of state, General Ibrahim Babaginda but would want to remain anonymous disclosed that the eminent leaders have also reached out to PDP leaders not to dance to the tune of those clamouring for the suspension of the River state governor, saying doing so will give him more opportunity- “to demonstrate his political arrogance.”
The source speaking on behalf of the eminent northerners said: “Instead, the party should tactically continue to appeal to and woo him to their side, but if he remains adamant, he would be seen as a desperate politician.”
The source described as a big advantage the coming of former Kano State governor, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau, representing Kano Central senatorial district to the PDP.
According to him, “With Senator Shekarau now in the party, it will be an advantage for the PDP to get the bulk of votes that both the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Senator Bola Tinubu and his counterpart in the New Nigeria People Party (NNPP), Dr Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, might secure in Kano and the North-West.
He also hinted that now that no fewer than five states in the South-West have dissociated themselves from the ‘Ayu must go’ syndrome, it is clear that only Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State is with the River’s State governor, a situation, he said, is dangerous to Makinde’s second term ambition.
The leaders, however, cautioned those in the camp of Wike, especially those seeking re-election to watch out.