Abuja: Prince Kassim Afegbua, spokesperson and confidant of former military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, popularly known as IBB has stated that the ongoing crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, would endure and frustrate the presidential bid of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the party’s flag bearer in next year’s Presidential election.

Afegbua, a former spokesperson to Atiku and as well Commissioner for Information in Edo State, who recently resigned from the PDP over the injustice being meted out to Southern Nigeria by the party made the assertion on Friday while speaking as a guest on TVC’s flagship current affairs program, Breakfast.

He insisted that Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State was more deserving of the party’s VP slot than Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, his Delta State counterpart, who he described as a “Southern traitor”

According to him, the party’s problem started when they went against zoning principle enshrined in their own constitution.

“PDP’s problem started when the party went against zoning principle enshrined in their own constitution, in Section 7, subsection 3.

“After all the gerrymandering that took place in the Presidential convention, Atiku emerged. Again, the same thing played out in the selection of party’s Vice Presidential candidate. Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State got 14 votes while only three persons voted for Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, in the 17 man committee comprising all the organs of the party, only for Atiku to wake up the next morning and unveil another person.

He queried the rationale behind Atiku setting up the committee since he knew that he was going to select his running mate by himself.

“In the selection committee set up by you (Atiku) and the party, Wike had 14 and Okowa had only 3. Yet, you jettisoned the report and took Okowa.

On Atiku’s statement that he picked Okowa because he had the qualities to be a President and to take over from him, at any moment, Afegbua said:

“Wike was to win PDP convention until Tambuwal’s stepping down. How can you say someone that had 237 votes, coming second in the Presidential Primary can’t be a president. Nigeria needs a strong leader.

“Is it Okowa, who hosted and spearheaded Southern Nigerian Presidency only to go from behind to work for a Northern president that is preferable? That is why the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum, SMBLF called Okowa a traitor. Is such an untrustworthy person the right person to be a VP?”

On the issue of whether he was against Okowa as a person or against the process through which he emerged as VP, Afegbua had this to say.

“Both Okowa’s person and the process were wrong. Wike has a right to be angry. In fact, I will encourage him to be angrier so that PDP will learn their lessons.

He also accused PDP National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu of coming with the premeditated mindset of returning Atiku.

“Ayu and co left PDP but came back to help APC destroy the party. As I said, they worked from answer to question because Senator Iyorchia Ayu came with the premeditated mindset of returning Atiku.

“As an insider, this crisis will endure and frustrate Atiku candidature to my own joy.Atiku ran to Dubai after 2019. Now, he has zoomed off again. Osun State campaign is on and Dino Melaye showed Atiku’s picture overseas on holiday in shorts with the party is boiling. Atiku is selfish and only cares about himself.

On the argument by the PDP that Jonathan, the last PDP President is a Southerner and as such the North should produce the next Presidential candidate of the party, Afegbua had this response:

“They are talking nonsense. General Muhammadu Buhari is President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria, not President of APC”

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