Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar was absent on Wednesday from a meeting of Peoples Democratic Party presidential aspirants hosted in Port Harcourt by Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike.
Woke had called the meeting to build amity Ong the aspirants ahead of the meeting of the party’s National Executive Committee.
Though no date has been fixed for the NEC meeting, it is expected to discuss the contentious issue of zoning the party’s ticjet.
It will mainly discuss the report of a 36-mam committee led by Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom, which recommended that the contest be thrown open.
At the Port Harcourt meeting included the Governor of Bauchi State, Senator Bala Mohammed, and Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal.
Others present were the former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and the former Managing Director of FSB International Bank, Dr Mohammed Hayatu-Deen.
Wike, while speaking with journalists after the meeting, said their interest was to ensure the consolidation of unity in the party.
Wike also expressed their interest in making Nigerians happy by developing a formidable strategy that would enable the PDP coast to victory in the 2023 presidential election.
He said, “Our interest is the unity of the party. Our interest is to make Nigerians happy by making sure that by 2023, PDP takes over the reins of government because Nigerians are patiently waiting.
And I can assure you that we are going to work as a team to make Nigerians happy,” Wike stated.
On his part, the leader of the delegation, Senator Bukola Saraki said their discussion centred on identifying the best available ways to ensure that all concerned party members embrace unity, as there is strength in unity as proverbially said.
Saraki stated, “We are here to have a discussion and we just finished talking about the best way for us to reunite our party, bring unity among all those who are aspiring to lead this country under PDP.
“We all realise the importance of this and PDP is the only option ready to redirect this country in the right direction and bring progress and provide a better future for our people.
“We have been to some of the other states and today we are here with the Governor of Rivers State – a key stakeholder of this party to discuss frankly. He has given us his views and made some suggestions and we will continue to work with that as we move away from here.
”But the key thing is unity; the key thing is to put the country first and put the party first,” Saraki affirmed.
•Additional reporting from PUNCH