Governor of Rivers State Nyesom Wike claims that in the months leading up to the 2015 elections, former President Goodluck Jonathan travelled to London to plead with former Vice President Atiku Abubakar in response to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) crisis in 2014.
Wike stated this in an interview with Channels TV on Friday over the zoning crisis in the PDP.
Jonathan’s election as PDP presidential candidate in 2014 sparked controversy, with some party leaders, including Atiku, refusing to back him. Jonathan would later lose the election in 2015 to make history as the first Nigerian sitting president to lose an election.
Wike claimed that Atiku, Bukola Saraki, the former president of the Senate, Aminu Tambuwal, the governor of Sokoto State, and Babangida Aliyu, the former governor of Niger State, all rejected Jonathan’s requests to reconsider their decision to quit the party in 2014.
Wike said the party’s constitution contained provisions for zoning of elective and party positions but lamented that some people were doing everything within their powers to manipulate the system.
He said: “There shall be zoning of party and elective offices. It is clear. Not ambiguous. But people will always try to manipulate the system to suit them.
“They slant stories in such a way as to deceive the public. The founding fathers know the complexity of this country. They did it in a such a way as not to have problems.
“People should not forget history. In 2013 and 2014, there was an issue of the presidential candidate. Jonathan emerged. Atiku and others walked out of the convention. Tambuwal and former Senate President all walked out.
“Jonathan did everything to talk to them. But they rebuffed him as a sitting president. President travelled to London to see Atiku, but he rebuffed him. Former Governor Babangida Aliyu admitted that they all agreed to work against Jonathan.”