Ossa Azaka, Abuja
The regrettable clash between Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State and his Rivers State counterpart, Chief Nyesom Wike, has remained a sore point to admirers of both leaders in the Niger Delta.
The avoidable route which recently forced the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to shift its National Executive Committee (NEC), and Board of Trustees meeting for a day recently is seen by stakeholders as an evil wind that the party cannot afford at this critical electioneering period.
The two governors, who are at loggerheads with each other, Bayelsa Times reliably gathered, got the party NEC working extra hard with party leaders, stakeholders and National Caucus to intervene in the matter, with a view to calming the nerves of the aggrieved governors and their supporters.
The postponement also afforded the party leaders a leeway to avoid a rancorous meeting devoid of unforeseen circumstances that could have derailed the all-important meeting.
Recall that Obaseki and Wike, are at daggers draw over purported verbal attacks on the deputy governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, by the latter for threatening to quit the party if their supporters were not integrated fully into the PDP.
The source further revealed that, “The two PDP governors are ‘fighting because of a comment made by Shaibu, suggesting that many supporters of Obaseki who defected with the governor from the All Progressives Congress (APC), to the PDP are not happy and did not feel accepted into the new party.
Shaibu had asked the national leadership of the PDP to “integrate” his supporters and those of Governor Obaseki into the party, threatening that there are possibilities of an exodus.
The statement of the deputy governor did not go down well with Governor Wike who consequently lampooned Shaibu, calling him an ingrate.
Wike had also asked the National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, to constitute a disciplinary committee against the deputy governor of Edo State, warning that if this was not done, he (Wike) would invoke sanctions of the party against the deputy governor..
An insider who confided in our correspondence, said also drawn into the reconciliatory meeting are the principal officers of both the Senate and the House of Representatives and some very high ranking members of the National Assembly who joined other members of the national caucus to ask both governors to sheathe the sword for the interest of the party.
It was also gathered that other governors of the PDP were encouraged to come up with meaningful contributions to the growth and development of the party, to stave off a situation where one person is fully involved in funding the party.
The source also said: “The NEC, meeting was shifted from Tuesday to Wednesday because of the feud between Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State and his Rivers State Counterpart, Nyesom Wike, to enable them and everyone be on the same page.
”It is also good for other governors of the PDP to come forward with funding to ensure that only one governor does not spend much and tries to hijack the party. This shifting of date of NEC meeting is to enable all the governors be on the same page.”