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Tinubu, Wike Meet In London As Atiku Group Kicks

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There are signs of rapprochement between the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu and Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike toward an alliance for the 2023 general election.

A report by The Punch indicated that the two politicians, though belonging to opposing political parties meet in London, the United Kingdom on Monday in an apparent move to secure the votes of Rivers people for Tinubu.

Wike has been at loggerhead with the presidential candidate of his party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as a fallout of the presidential primary which was won by Atiku Abubakar and the decision of Atiku to sideline Wike in the choice of his running mate.

At the meeting in London are said to be some APC and PDP governors who are said to be working closely with the two stalwarts to achieve common goals.

Prior to the Monday meeting, the ruling party had attempted to cash in on the crisis in the PDP over the presidential primary won by former vice-president Abubakar, which left Wike aggrieved.

On July 8, three APC governors, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State and Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State visited Wike at his Rumueprikon country home in Port Harcourt, as part of moves to woo him.

Also present at the meeting was a former Ekiti governor and PDP member, Ayodele Fayose.

Though the PDP has since set up a reconciliation committee to resolve the crisis between Atiku and Wike, the two feuding groups seem not to be making any headway as the presidential candidate of PDP seems also to be working to undermine Wike in Rivers.

After several postponements, the panel met Wike in Port Harcourt last Friday but the meeting ended in a stalemate following the insistence of the Rivers State governor on the removal of the National Chairman of the PDP, Iyorchia Ayu, over the role he played in the emergence of the former vice-president as the party standard -bearer.

Sources at the meeting disclosed that Wike’s representatives at the meeting said Ayu could not be an impartial chairman because he took sides during the special convention.

It was gathered that the failure of the reconciliation panel to assuage Wike’s anger had put Atiku’s peace moves on shaky ground, leaving room for Tinubu to court the governor.

Confirming the meeting between Wike and the APC presidential candidate,  a source in Tinubu’s camp said the parley was held in London.

“Governors Sanwo-Olu and Fayemi were equally part of the delegation. Contrary to what some online media are speculating, the meeting was held in London yesterday (Monday),” the sources said.

Asked if an agreement was struck, the source said he could not confirm because the full details had not been disclosed to him.

“Don’t forget that Sanwo-Olu and Fayemi earlier went with Fayose and Akeredolu to see Wike in Port Harcourt on behalf of our principal. Definitely, something is going on between them. However, I may not be in a position to tell whether there was a sort of MoU or agreement between them.’’

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