Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, on Monday, met with Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike in Abuja, The PUNCH has learnt.
Atiku had defeated Wike at the party’s presidential primary in Abuja on Saturday night.
The Monday meeting, it was gathered, was to reconcile the two party chieftains and give the PDP a robust outing in the 2023 presidential election against the ruling All Progressives Congress.
The meeting was also attended by former Ekiti State Governor and PDP presidential aspirant, Ayodele Fayose, amongst other PDP chieftains.
Details of the meeting remain sketchy as of press time but our correspondent learnt that Atiku is shopping for a Southern running mate after his victory at the primary.
During the PDP presidential primary held at the Moshood Abiola Stadium on Saturday, Atiku polled 371 votes to defeat Wike, who got 237 votes; a former President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, 70 votes; the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Emmanuel Udom, 38 votes; the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, 20 votes; a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, 14 votes and an ex-President of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, Sam Ohuabunwa, one vote.
The PUNCH had earlier reported that delegates were surprised when the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, who was one of the front runners for the presidential ticket, stepped down and directed his supporters to vote for Atiku as a result of what sources said was due to the intervention of the northern elders, who were pushing for a northern consensus aspirant.
Wike has not spoken since his defeat on Saturday.
Wike while speaking before the commencement of voting had said he would support any candidate that emerges.
But he was conspicuously absent from the stage when Atiku was giving his acceptance speech.
Ahead of the expiration of the President, Major General Muhammadu’s (retd.) eight-year tenure on May 29 next year, interest groups, including the Southern Governors’ Forum, the pan-Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the Pan-Niger Delta Forum, and the Southern and Middle Belt Elders’ Forum have been calling for the zoning of the presidency to the South.
The groups faulted Atiku’s emergence and vowed to work against him in the next poll.