Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar,has said he is committed to negotiations that will resolve the internal crisis in the opposition party.
In a statement issued by Paul Ibe, Atiku’s media adviser, the former vice-president said doors have not been shut against aggrieved members of the party.
Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers and his associates — Samuel Ortom of Benue,
Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu and Seyi Makinde of Oyo, have been calling for the resignation of Iyorchia Ayu, national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) — a demand that has polarised the party.
The five governors have also boycotted the PDP presidential campaign.
On Wednesday, Wike said he and his allies are still open to reconciliation with the leadership of the party.
Ibe, however, said Atiku welcomes reports that the Rivers governor and his group are favourably disposed to the resolution of the issues in the party.
“Atiku Abubakar also expresses his commitment to a negotiation that will resolve the crisis of confidence and pave the way for a much stronger and united PDP,” the statement reads.
“The former Vice President of Nigeria notes that never at any time of the differences that have ensued have the doors been shut to Wike and his group.
“He enjoins every leader of the party and their supporters irrespective of their leanings to be open-minded and support the process of resolution of the extant issues.”
Wike had contested the PDP presidential election in May but lost to Atiku.
The Rivers governor also lost the PDP vice-presidential ticket after Atiku picked Ifeanyi Okowa, governor of Delta, over Wike who was recommended by a panel comprising governors and national working committee (NWC) members.
The governors’ demand for Ayu’s resignation is based on the grounds that the party’s presidential candidate and national chairman should not come from the same region.