Dr. Haliru Bello Mohammed, a former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), expressed hope that the party's crisis would be handled in earnest and predicted that the PDP will triumph in the 2023 presidential election.
The party is currently embroiled in an intellectual conflict among itself over numerous issues.
Mohammed minimised the perceived severity of the party problem while addressing on a Channels TV programme. He insisted that the PDP has skilled politicians working to break the impasse.
He observed that the party had become stronger as a result of their ability to handle numerous crises in the past.
According to him, “Nomination problem is always significant in any electioneering. We have always come through them. But this very one, because of the importance of Governor Nyesom Wike in our party (remember he stood with the party when we were in deep crisis over the Ali Modu Sheriff problem), and he has also been our pillar supporting the party since that time.
“In fact, the rebuilding of the party happened, thanks to him and some other governors since we lost the 2015 election. But all the same, the issue of nomination, and especially nomination of running mate, this time, became problematic, not because Atiku Abubakar set up the committee, but because in 2019, when the vice president was nominated without consultation, there was a lot of complaints and brouhaha.
This time around Atiku corrected that mistake and consulted widely among party members before nominating his running mate. But the problem is, as always, for any appointment or nomination, there are several contenders.”
He added: “I believe the way it was handled before the announcement was the cause of the problem; and people have the right to feel slighted over the problem. Wike has the right to feel slighted, because he was expecting to be nominated, and when the decision was made, he was not privy to it before the announcement. I think that was the mistake that was made.
“But that is a minor issue. Wike is a loyal party man. As I said earlier, he has been supporting the party and he will want the PDP to win the presidential election. And after he is consulted and assuaged, I think he will support the candidature of Atiku Abubakar, and work hard to make sure the PDP wins the presidential election. I am sure everything will be sorted out after this Port Harcourt meeting.”
The former national chairman, who had also served as chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT), said while he had not seen leadership lapses in the PDP over the crisis, the only mistake he identified was the late response of the party’s BoT to the need to inform Wike appropriately before the selection of the vice presidential candidate, adding that had Wike been carried along properly, the problem might not have arisen.
He said the development made Wike and some other supporters of the party feel slighted, and that with the machinery put in place, the matter would soon be a thing of the past.