The 2023 presidential ambition of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Atiku Abubakar has suffered a fresh setback as another Governor has threatened to dump the former Vice President.
The threat is coming at a time Atiku is yet to resolve the grievances of the five PDP Governors led by Nyesom Wike of Rivers State who have vowed not to support him except Iyorchia Ayu steps down as the National Chairman and is replaced by a southerner.
Information gathered by Naija News has it that the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed is also set to back out of supporting Atiku for the 2023 presidency.
Mohammed is a former presidential aspirant himself and has also been appointed as the Vice Chairman, North-East of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council but is said to be at loggerheads with Atiku over some recent developments.
It is understood that the Bauchi State Governor feels slighted and left out of happenings in the campaign strategy particularly in the North-East region despite his position in the council.
According to sources, he feels Atiku is not giving him the needed respect and confidence to work which has caused a cold war between them.
The Governor also complained that of all the PDP presidential aspirants, he was the only one Atiku did not visit for reconciliation after the primaries.
Sources quoted by The Nation revealed that the brewing disagreement is what prompted the visit by the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu in the company of the Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, and former Governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido to Bauchi State on Saturday.
Mohammed was said to have earlier made his grievances known to Ayu in a letter addressed to the PDP National Chairman.
The source said: “You know Bala has been a committed party man, but he is unhappy that he was not been carried along as the Vice Chairman (North-East) of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council.
“He said he suspected that Atiku had not been keen on his second term aspiration. He said based on intelligence, it was discovered some Atiku’s loyalists in Bauchi have been allegedly undermining his re-election bid.
“What pained the Governor most was that he was the only presidential aspirant who Atiku refused to visit for rapprochement or reconciliation after the primaries.
“ Bala then seized the opportunity of his recent birthday to organize a mega rally in Bauchi to show his strength to the party and prove that he is not a pushover. Atiku was excited at the rally.”
Another source added: “The Governor threatened to quit the presidential campaign council since he was not wanted.”
Why Atiku Is Angry
A PDP leader quoted on the disagreement between Atiku and Mohammed opined that the PDP presidential candidate is not happy the Bauchi State Governor contested the PDP 2023 ticket with him and more importantly, the Governor refused to step down like others.
This is said to have resulted in mutual suspicion between the two leaders.
“I think Atiku was unhappy that Bala contested the presidential primary with him from the same Northeast.
“ Also, when Bala was prevailed upon to step down, he refused. The PDP candidate cannot trust his full commitment to his aspiration,“ the source said.