The immediate past Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, was conspicuously absent at a one-day retreat for elected officials under the Peoples Democratic Party which is ongoing at the Banquet Hall, Government House in Bauchi State.
Some of the dignitaries present at the retreat are: Governors of Adamawa – Umaru Fintiri; Bayelsa – Duoye Diri; Bauchi – Bala Mohammed; Delta – Sheriff Oborevwori; Osun – Ademola Adeleke; Oyo – Seyi Makinde; Rivers – Siminalayi Fubara; Plateau – Caleb Mutfwang; Taraba – Agbu Kefas; Zamafara – Dauda Dare and Edo – Godwin Obaseki (was represented by his deputy, Philip Shuaibu).
Others are: the Presidential Candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar; National Working Committee of the party led by the Acting National Chairman, Umar Damagum; Chairman, Board of Trustees, Adolphus Wabara; former PDP National Chairman, Ahmed Makarfi; former Board of Trustees Chairman, Walid Jibril; former Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu; former Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Aminu Tambuwal; Kogi State Governorship Candidate, Dino Melaye.
Also in attendance are: serving Senators and House of Representatives members, many of whom came alongside the Senators-elect and House of Representatives-elected members.
The Chairman of the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria, who is also the Speaker of the Bauchi State House of Assembly, Abubakar Suleiman was also sighted at the parley among others.
Similarly, several lawmakers under the Labour Party, the Young Progressives Party and other opposition minority parties were conspicuously present at the event.
However, Wike, who led four governors – Makinde of Oyo; Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu; Samuel Ortom of Benue and Ikpeazu of Abia, to form the G-5 Governors, was clearly not in attendance at the meeting and he didn’t sent a representative to stand-in for him at the parley.
No official reason has been given for Wike’s absence yet, but, there are strong talks that he, (Wike), has dumped the PDP, being the party under which platform he was elected as Rivers State Governor for eight years, to the ruling All Progressives Congress.
Those who accuse him of dumping the party refer to his repeated and growing chumming relationship with the APC leadership. They also point to the abysmal performance of the PDP in the Presidential election in Rivers State.
Wike though has denied leaving the PDP for the APC, as he has insisted that he is still in the opposition party.
Meanwhile, the Acting National Chairman of the Party, Damagum, explained that the idea behind inviting members of the minority opposition party “is to form a formidable and united force as it concerns the National Assembly leadership.”