Mr Wike, a fiery party frontline, was runner up in the party’s presidential primary election where Mr Atiku emerged tops.
Benue state governor Samuel Ortom has said Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), should visit Rivers state governor Nyesom Wike if he wants to end the internal crisis rocking the party.
“Why should you (referring to Atiku) just send calls to Wike? Why can’t you just go to him? You have offended him. Wike is a pillar of this party,” Mr Ortom said on Arise TV Wednesday morning.
Mr Wike, a fiery party frontline, was runner up in the party’s presidential primary election where Mr Atiku emerged tops. The River governor was in strong consideration to run a joint ticket with Mr Atiku.
Mr Atiku, however, opted for Delta State governor Ifeanyi Okowa, against the recommendation of a select committee who put forward Mr Wike. The decision has now degenerated.
Governor Ortom confirmed on live TV that 14 of the 17-man committee had recommended Mr Wike for the VP position. The recommendation was however disregarded by Mr Atiku who eventually went with Mr Okowa as his running mate.
Seething over his loss at PDP primary and Atiku Abubakar’s decision not to tap him as vice-presidential candidate, Mr Wike had since distanced himself from the PDP presidential campaign. He has since been holding talks with opposition figures such as Ebonyi governor Dave Umahi, Kano politician, Rabiu Kwakwanso and Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party.
When asked why the Rivers State governor was deliberately ignoring Mr Atiku’s calls, Mr Ortom said calls alone would not suffice and would do nothing to assuage the injustice dealt Mr Wike.
“It is not enough to say you (referring to Mr Atiku) put a call to him. It is an insult to put a call to him. You should go to him. The party leadership at the national level should go to Wike and appeal to him. Wike is a pillar in this party. Everybody knows,” stressed Mr Ortom.
Describing Wike as a pillar of the PDP, Mr Ortom stressed it would take a visit from Mr Atiku to secure the Rivers state governor’s support for his presidential ambition.
Noting that politics was a game of compromise, Mr Ortom said Mr Wike should have been consulted before the announcement of PDP vice presidential candidate was made public.
“I have no problem with Okowa. Okowa is my friend but Wike would have been consulted. He would have been spoken to. Wike would have been consulted in the first place even before the announcement was made,” the Benue governor pointed out.