Atiku Abubakar deployed Adamu Waziri to meet Nyesom Wike, who is on holiday in Turkey, after the governor rebuffed several attempts by the candidate to arrange a meeting between them.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Thursday in Turkey refused to grant audience to a former Minister of Police Affairs, Adamu Waziri, who was sent to speak with him by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, those familiar with the matter have told PREMIUM TIMES.
Atiku, our sources said, deployed Mr Waziri to meet Mr Wike, who is on holiday in the Eastern European country, after the governor rebuffed several attempts by the candidate to arrange a meeting between them.
The former vice president has been unable to see Mr Wike since he overlooked him to pick his Delta State counterpart, Ifeanyi Okowa, as his running mate.
Sources said Mr Abubakar had wanted to personally inform Mr Wike that he was not his vice presidential pick before making the public announcement, but the governor left Abuja the night before the announcement, having found out that Atiku had settled for someone else.
The governor has also refused to speak on telephone with Atiku and his emissaries who were trying to have a meeting with him.
Having got wind that Mr Wike was away in Turkey, aides said Atiku deployed the former minister who tracked the governor down to Hilton Conrad Hotel in Istanbul on Thursday.
However, despite the two men running into each other in the lobby of the hotel, Mr Wike declined his request for the two of them to huddle to enable him deliver a message from Atiku.
Mr Waziri was said to have called several friends and some leaders of the PDP in Nigeria on telephone to help persuade Mr Wike to discuss with him, but the governor did not yield.
Contrary to the claim by Mr Waziri on Thursday that he met Mr Wike in Istanbul, aides of the governor insisted that Mr Wike did not grant an audience to the former minister.
Mr Waziri made the claim while debunking a statement by a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos, Joe Igbokwe, that Mr Wike flew to France to meet the party’s presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, who is in that country.
”Governor Wike came directly from Nigeria to Istanbul, Turkey. He did not go to France as speculated. This is to debunk the propaganda of the APC through Igbokwe. This is fake news orchestrated by the sinking ruling party which is on its way out,” he said in a telephone chat as reported by Daily Trust newspaper.
When the newspaper asked him of his mission to Istanbul, he snapped; “What is your business with our mission? We came to rest after our national convention. Of course, as a political animal, I do politics anywhere I find myself.”
Speaking in an interview with Arise TV on Wednesday, Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, accused Atiku of not being fair to Mr Wike.
“Atiku should go to him (Wike). Why won’t he ignore their calls? Is that not an insult? Wike is a pillar in the party.
“Currently, Nobody in the party has contributed more for the party to move forward than Wike. If Atiku was not going to honour the decision of the committee, he should have called Wike earlier and informed him. He didn’t do that. You can’t do things anyhow and expect us to be happy,” Mr Ortom said.
Mr Wike had been spotted with Abia State governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, in Turkey. Another picture on Thursday showed the two governors and their Oyo State counterpart, Seyi Makinde, together in Turkey.
Mr Waziri’s telephone number could not be reached as of the time of this report. Mr Wike did not answer or return multiple calls made to him.
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