Following the dust razed about anti-party activities, some members of the Peoples Democratic Party’s National Executive Committee have confirmed the claim by the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, that he notified the party’s leadership before accepting to serve in President Bola Tinubu’s cabinet.
The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party, Ibrahim Abdullahi, and a source who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed the claim to our correspondent.
Wike, a former governor of Rivers State, said upon assumption of office as a minister a few weeks ago that he sought the approval of key leaders of the PDP before accepting the offer from an All Progressives Congress-led government.
Responding to accusations that his decision to work for the APC government was a betrayal of his loyalty to his party, the PDP, Wike stated, “They said they will sanction me that I took an appointment. That’s ridiculous. The President wrote to all the 36 state governors to bring names of people to appoint. Didn’t PDP governors submit names?
“Before this appointment came, I wrote to the (PDP) National Chairman. I wrote to the minority leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate. I wrote to the zonal chairman of the party and my state chairman.
“I wrote to my governor and all of them wrote me back and said ‘accept.’ I have my evidence documented. Forget these reggae dancers. I call them reggae dancers because when you have lost your opportunity, you have lost because of arrogance and impunity.”
Meanwhile, the PDP NEC members confirmed that Wike in a letter addressed to the party’s acting National Chairman, Umar Damagum, informed the party of a ministerial offer for him to serve in Tinubu’s cabinet.
Abdullahi told our correspondent in an interview on Friday that Wike sent a letter to the PDP acting chairman before accepting Tinubu’s offer. He noted that Wike in the letter informed Damagum that he was going to “answer President Tinubu’s clarion call” and requested approval.
stated he accepted the appointment of the governing party, Governor Wike decided to accept the offer after informing the party. In other words, he had written to the party stating his position. But the party did not respond to him, whether to confirm its approval for him to accept the appointment or for him not to take the position. What we just did was to keep mum and watch events.
“In the letter he wrote to the party, Wike explained that he was going to answer the clarion call by the President and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Therefore, the party has not taken a position as to whether or not that will be in its interest.”
When asked why the party kept mum on the issue, the party’s deputy spokesperson said, “Because we were indifferent. The letter was just to inform the party. You can tell from the wording in the letter that his mind was made up. He routed the letter through the PDP Vice Chairman, South-South, Chief Dan Orbih, to the acting national chairman, explaining that this is the time to shun party affiliation to work for a united and prosperous Nigeria.”
Also, a member of the said, “Wike wrote all those he listed, including Damagum”.
Confiding in our correspondent, the member said, “They cannot deny it; they were all informed. He informed them that Tinubu wanted to form a government of national unity and competence and he gave him a ministerial offer.”
Responding to a question on whether the party gave him approval, the source said, “I’m not aware, but to be honest, can any of these people tell him not to accept the offer?”
Meanwhile, the Deputy National Youth Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, Timothy Osadolor, has reiterated his call for the expulsion of the minister over what he termed anti-party activities.
He said the youth wing of the party believed there should be no sacred cows and that continued indulgence of anti-party activities among members would send wrong signals to committed members of the party.
Osadolor in an interview with Saturday PUNCH said, “I’m of the school of thought that former governor Wike should be expelled from the party until he purges himself of the anti-party spirit that has taken over him. For the youth wing of the party, we believe that discipline should be instilled in all members without exception when they err. There should be no sacred cows.
“We believe strongly that the party will stand to gain more when it shows it does not support anti-party activities from members, especially senior members of the party. Wike has shown he is against PDP and therefore he should not claim to have her interest at heart.”