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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Wike Sues Atiku, Others Requesting Court to Declare Him PDP’s Presidential Candidate

The suit demonstrates that the PDP’s recent efforts to reconcile Mr. Wike with the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, ahead of the 2023 election have failed. 

Nyesom Wike, the governor of Rivers State, has filed a petition in the Federal High Court in Abuja, disputing the conclusion of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary. 

It is a hint that recent efforts by the party to reconcile him with the party’s presidential nominee, Atiku Abubakar, have failed.  

Mr. Wike requests, among other things, that the court declare him the PDP’s presidential candidate for the 2023 election.  

In the suit, Mr. Wike sued the PDP, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Atiku, and Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State as defendants. 

According to court documents, the PDP is listed as the first respondent while Atiku is also the 2nd respondent. 

Newsmen reports that the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/782/2022, has Mr. Wike and a PDP’s chieftain, Newgent Ekamon, as the plaintiffs. 

Also Read Wike Carries Weight In Nigeria, Atiku Should Beg Him — Onwordi  

Mr Wike came second behind Atiku in the party’s presidential primary election held in May. Mr Tambuwal, who was also a presidential aspirant, stepped down for Atiku at the last minute. 

The former vice president ended up defeating 12 other aspirants including Mr. Wike to emerge as the party’s presidential flagbearer. 

Of the 767 accredited ballots at the election, Atiku polled 371 votes while his closest challenger, Mr Wike, came second with 237 votes. 

Nigeria’s former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, scored 70 votes to come a distant third while Governor of Akwa Ibom, Udom Emmanuel, came fourth with 38 votes. 

Mr. Wike has also fallen out with the party, and until recently, refused to meet with Atiku in the aftermath of the primary election. The subsequent choice of Delta State governor Ifeanyi Okowa as the party’s presidential running mate over Mr. Wike was also said to have deepened the Rivers State governor’s grievances against the party. 

The party recently embarked on a move to reconcile Mr. Wike and Atiku ahead of the 2023 election. Journalists reported how Mr. Wike demanded the resignation of the national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, as part of his conditions for reconciliation with Atiku. 

But with Mr. Wike’s suit, it is clear the reconciliatory move has failed to mend the crack between the duo. 

In his suit challenging the outcome of the primary election, Mr Wike cited the transfer of votes meant for Mr Tambuwal to Atiku as his major grouse. 

Also Read: Obasanjo meets Govs. Wike, Makinde, Ortom in his house in Ogun State

‘Wike won the primary election’ 

In a supporting affidavit that he deposed, Mr Ekamon, the co-plaintiff, noted that he was a member of the PDP and attested to the fact that Mr Wike won the presidential election. 

He also maintained that Mr Tambuwal withdrew from the contest after voting had commenced and directed that his votes be assigned to Atiku. 

“The third respondent (Tambuwal) speaking twice before stepping down from the contest, persuaded all his delegates who were going to vote for him to vote for the 4th respondent (Atiku). 

“The 1st (PDP) and 4th (Atiku) respondents who also wanted the votes desperately agreed with the 3rd (Tambuwal) and assigned 3rd (Tambuwal) respondent’s votes to the 4th (Atiku) respondent and increased his votes to win the 2nd applicant (Wike). 

“The 2nd applicant (Wike) won the primaries if the votes of the 3rd respondent (Tambuwal) had not also been transferred or assigned to the 4th respondent (Atiku).” 

 

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