The battle for the soul of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of the 2023 presidential election has already began as the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike and his Sokoto State counterpart, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, have launched political onslaught against the party’s presidential candidate in the 2019 election, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar.

Pointblanknews.com gathered that Tambuwal and Wike who are planning to emerged as PDP’s presidential candidate and running mate respectively in 2023, have been scheming to ensure that Atiku does not win at the Supreme Court.

A party source told Pointblanknews.com that the two governors who are seeking to edge out Atiku as defacto leader of the party on account of his presidential candidacy status, are worried that if Atiku emerges the party candidate in 2023, their political career would be over.

It was further learnt that National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, who Wike singlehandedly installed has also ditched him for Atiku, who has since held firm to the reins of the party. The former vice president has been holding strategic meetings on the running of the party in far away Dubai, the recent of which was with the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the party.

The source added that the recent outbursts by Wike against the leadership of the party is reflective of his frustration at his loss of grip on events in the party.

Wike backed Tambuwal’s ambition in 2019 to emerge the PDP presidential candidate which he eventually lost to Atiku at the primaries. But Wike and Tambuwal remained close.

However, Wike had congratulated Buhari after Atiku lost at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) in a move meant to spite the party over its failure to yield to his candidate for the House Minority Leader, Hon Kingsley Chinda. Hon Ndudi Elumelu had emerged minority leader against the party’s directive to PDP members to vote for Hon Chinda.

Miffed by the situation, the Rivers State governor had described a committee setup by the PDP BoT, comprising three former Senate presidents, to investigate the crisis arising from the House minority leadership tussle as corrupt.

Worried that Wike’s outbursts was getting out of hand, Tambuwal led five other PDP governors including Adamawa State Governor, Umaru Fintiri; Imo State Governor, Emeka Ihedioha; Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde; Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom; and Zamfara State Governor, Mohammed Matawalle, to Port Harcourt to appease him.

However, the PDP source told Pointblanknews.com that the intrigues currently playing out in the party was a manifestation of Wike and Tambuwal’s move to wrest the party structure away from Atiku.

The source said, “Governors Tambuwal, Wike are leading some PDP leaders to work against Atiku’s Presidency because of 2023. They fear that an Atiku’s presidency will retire them politically and kill their presidential ambitions. Tambuwal wants to run for the 2023 Presidential Elections.

“He has Wike in mind as his running mate. The duo have been plotting to ensure that the Atiku is not successful at the court. Their calculation is that despite Atiku’s plan to run a single term, he might renege on that and do a two terms, which would put most of them out politically.

“On the other hand, Uche Secondus has fallen out with Wike because of his perceived loyalty to Atiku and others who returned back to PDP. Wike feel Secondus has not shown enough loyalty after he backed and bankrolled his emergence as chairman of the party.

“He has stopped Secondus’s wife contract in Rivers and also denied Secondus son a contract, something he effortlessly does when the going was good.”

Besides Wike and Tambuwal, the source also revealed that former governors of Kano and Gombe states, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and Ibrahim Dankwambo are also plotting to upstage Atiku ahead of 2023.

“Kwankwaso and Dankwambo are also part of the plot against Atiku. Recall Kwankwanso and Dankwambo couldn’t deliver their states for Atiku,” the source added.

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