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2023: Atiku, Wike meet as reconciliation talks open in Abuja

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Presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar on Thursday held talks with Governor Nyesom Wike as part of a newly-activated dialogue aimed at thrashing out a protracted feud between them.

The meeting was held at the residence of opposition party stalwart Jerry Gana in Asokoro, Abuja, according to other parties who attended.

“The meeting was held under a cordial and jovial atmosphere,” one of the attendees said under anonymity because an official statement had not been sanctioned. 

Messrs Abubakar and Wike agreed to nominate an equal number of members to the reconciliation panel, our sources said. The panel’s recommendations will then be submitted to yet another highly-placed committee for ratification and implementation.

Mr Wike recently expressed reservations about Mr Abubakar’s emergence as the presidential candidate of the opposition PDP for the 2023 presidential election, suggesting in some corners that he may not back the former vice-president when he goes up against Bola Tinubu of the ruling APC in February.

Mr Wike said Mr Abubakar failed to show him respect despite coming second at the presidential primaries in late May. But Mr Abubakar’s aides denied the claim, saying attempts were made to reach the Rivers governor but which he rebuffed.

The panel raised today was asked to swiftly conclude its activities in time for the official commencement of the presidential campaign next month.