A former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, on Saturday blamed the crisis which had engulfed the Peoples Democratic Party after the presidential primaries on the party’s leadership.
According to him, it would be dangerous for PDP to ignore Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State as the 2023 election beckons.
He, therefore, called on the PDP national chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, to resign if he cannot solve the crisis in the party.
Several calls, SMS and WhatsApp messages to the Special Assistant Media to Ayu, Simon Imobo-Tswam, and National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Debo Ologunagba, were not replied.
Bafarawa, however, told journalists that what people see as a crisis would be resolved with the ongoing reconciliation, adding that the 2023 presidency has moved beyond its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar to PDP.
He was responding to the comments by Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, who was quoted as saying that Atiku should have placated Wike after the primaries.
Bafarawa said, “This is a very serious issue which nobody can undermine but unfortunately the problem of this crisis is caused by the leadership of the party.
“What I am trying to say is that the candidate (Atiku) is no longer an aspirant. He is a candidate. He is supposed to be controlled by the party.
“So if there is anything and any technical problem arise, it is the duty of the leadership of the party to swing on and solve the problems.
“But in the situation where we are now in, it looks like the leadership is not helping matters to bring the situation down.
“It is the duty of the national chairman to lead even the presidential candidate to go and speak with Wike for whatever decision they have taken, let him be recognized, let them make him a human being.As far as I am concerned, to the best of my knowledge, nobody can undermine Wike in building PDP.
“He was an aspirant, he was number two and he has done everything to help the party to be what it is today. So it is very painful for anybody to abandon him and say to hell with him. Wike is a factor in PDP in Nigeria. Nobody can say to hell with him.
“So with what is happening now, I am not blaming anybody. I am blaming the leadership of the party because they are supposed to swing in and bring the matter down. “I don’t want the leadership to take it personal. If there is anything between the national leadership of PDP and Wike, it is personal.
“But being the national chairman, he should forget that even if there is any difference between him and Wike, he is supposed to take away his personal interest and come and rescue the party because he is the leader; it is the responsibility given to him.
“If he cannot solve the problem, let him resign. But nobody can undermine Wike and nobody can ignore Wike.”
Asked if what had been done to Wike would be a threat to PDP in 2023, Bafarawa said nobody could ignore an incumbent governor.
He said, “Wike is a human being. When a mistake is being made and then, when people recognize that they have made a mistake, they seek for him to support, to forgive and to forget.
“I believe Wike can do that but nobody can say to hell with Wike.
“As an incumbent governor with a total number of voters in Rivers state, you cannot ignore them and then as a leader of the party, they are supposed to think of the importance of Rivers itself and the person who is governing the state.”