A report by Vanguard has revealed the visit of former President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Mr Nyesom Wike, at his Abuja residence was about the chairmanship tussle in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Wike had visited Saraki in his Maitama residence before the Senate President returned the favour to the FCT minister.
The former Rivers state governor, who worked for President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, APC, was appointed FCT minister after the 2023 electrions.
Despite being an appointee of the Tinubu administration, Wike has declared that he remained a member of the PDP, only working with Tinubu to transform Nigeria.
However, a source privy to the meeting said while the “Wike group has defined that they will not leave the party, they must work to retain their influence in the party.”
The source privy to the meeting explained that following Wike’s group’s decision to remain in the PDP, “one of the ways to do so is to be part of the power groups that will determine the future of the party by influencing who leads the party from next year. Saraki is moving fast and getting more passengers; the Wike group needs to quickly jump on it and be part of the forces that will propel the train to a successful destination.”
Another source warned that failure by the Wike group to join the reconciliation team may lead to the emergence of “a hostile Chairman who may move against them.”
On the reconciliation move by the former Senate President, the source said: “They know Saraki as a reconciliation, a bridge-builder, somebody they can trust to be neutral and had the capacity and resources to rebuild the party.”
The meeting with Wike, the source said, “is the first step the Wike group is making. More governors and senators in the group will openly canvass support for Saraki and even visit. Many have silently visited him.”
On insinuations about Saraki’s chairmanship ambition, the source said: “As for Saraki, he has not made up his mind on the chairmanship.
“His position is that we should wait till after the Supreme Court verdict on the Atiku case. Either way the case goes, the next assignment for PDP is resolving leadership issues and reconciliation”.