PDP Crisis: Ayu’s Fate Hangs In The Balance As NEC Meets Today b

The fate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national chairman, Senator Iyorcha Ayu, will be decided today at the much-anticipated National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting which is also poised to ratify the composition of the party’s campaign council for the forthcoming presidential election.

The NEC meeting comes as more members of the National Working Committee (NWC) from the South have joined the push for Ayu to resign his position as a condition for the reconciliation process, it was learnt yesterday.

LEADERSHIP reports that some PDP governors led by Nyesom Wike of Rivers State have been agitating for Ayu’s sack for peace to reign following a friction with the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, for picking a Delta State governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa as running mate over Wike who was preferred by party leaders for the position.

The call for Ayu’s sack took a broader appeal as some south and northern leaders, like PDP BoT member Chief Bode George and former Plateau State governor, Jonah Jang, joined the call on the basis of ensuring that the party’s leadership structure reflects a North/south geopolitical spread.

While Atiku has refused to commit to Ayu’s sack, the national chairman had declared that he would not vacate the seat because he has a four-year term in office to serve.

The situation, however, assumed a fresh dimension yesterday as most members of the NWC at the meeting presided by Ayu were said to be weighing in on the national chairman to vacate the office for peace to reign.

A source, who spoke in confidence with LEADERSHIP, said 15 out of the 19 member NWC, mainly from the southern part of the country, support Ayu’s removal from the office.

PDP Crisis


The source noted that the NWC members blamed Ayu for escalating the crisis with the aggrieved governors rather than pursuing a peaceful resolution of the matter.

They also cited his recent provocative reactions to the issues at stake.

“Unlike before, most of the NWC members, especially from the Southern part of the country, have expressed their displeasure at the way the national chairman was handling the matter. They expected that he would be more peace-embracing in handling the matter,” the source said.

Another source said the NWC meeting did not end on a cordial note following the suggestion to Ayu to resign. The reaction to the call for his resignation prompted Southern members of the NWC to stage a walk-out from the meeting in protest. After the NWC, those who backed Ayu’s removal from office assembled for another meeting at the residence of a national vice chairman to consolidate their position ahead of the NEC meeting.

Similarly, it was learnt that Ayu met with some of his backers, like former Jigawa State governor Sule Lamido, former Niger State governor Babangida Aliyu, and former Imo State governor Emeka Ihedioha at his residence for over an hour to restrategise.

When asked, however, the national publicity secretary of PDP, Hon. Debo Ologunagba, said Ayu’s resignation was not discussed during the NWC meeting.

Ologunagba said the NWC discussed arrangements for the Caucus and NEC meeting.

Interacting with newsmen, Ologunagba said that the major issues discussed at the meeting were the reconciliation of members of the party, the composition of the campaign council, and the situation of the party in Osun State.

Meanwhile, some presidential aspirants were absent at a consolidation meeting called by the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, in Abuja.

Those absent at the meeting are Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel, former Senate President Pius Anyim, Sokoto State governor Aminu Tambuwal, and former Senate President Bukola Saraki.

The presidential aspirants, who attended the meeting, include Dele Momodu, Mohammed Hayatu-Deen, Tari Oliver, Charles Ugwu and Kalu Chikwendu.

Commending those who attended the meeting for accepting the outcome of the convention that produced him as the PDP standard bearer, Atiku promised to work with all of them ahead of the 2023 general elections.

He assured them that they have various roles to play in his victory at the polls.

In a related development, the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT) chairman, Senator Walid Jibrin, is alleged to have offered to resign from his position as a peace offering for the resolution of the crisis in the party.

Speaking on this development, a member of the BoT said, “He told some of us, even though we appealed to him to be patient.”

The BoT chairman, who offered to resign for peace to reign in the party, had said he had only six months left in his tenure, which he was ready to sacrifice.

Calls and text messages sent to Jibrin were not responded to as of press time.

However, indications that all might still not be well with the party manifested yesterday as Wike and his colleagues were absent at the caucus meeting which precedes the NEC meeting.

The caucus meeting is usually regarded as the main meeting before the NEC, which ratifies decisions taken at the caucus meeting. While Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom was away in London, Governors Wike and Seyi Makinde were in Rivers State.

Some of those who attended were Atiku, Ayu, Sokoto State governor Aminu Tambuwal, his Bayelsa State counterpart, Douye Diri, and Bauchi State governor Bala Mohammed. Deputy governors of Edo and Benue States were also present.

Interestingly, unlike the past the PDP governors’ forum did not meet ahead of the meeting.

Reacting, however, the director general of the PDP governors’ forum, Hon CID Maduabum, told LEADERSHIP that the governors have been playing their roles behind the scenes.

He said, “The governors have been quite active and playing their role in resolving the issues from behind the scenes. You can see that Governor Fintiri is part of the reconciliation process which has recorded some good outcomes so far even though discussion is still ongoing.”

Meanwhile, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has said the time of reckoning is coming for those who continue to insist that they can take everything to themselves in the PDP.

Wike, who spoke yesterday during the commissioning of the Emohua campus of the Rivers State University in Emohua local government area of the state, maintained that nobody can silence him from speaking against such injustice and the demand for the right thing to be done.

The governor stated that such persons will definitely account for every wrong thing that they have done when the day of reckoning comes.

RELATED: PDP Crisis: Day Of Reckoning Is Coming, Says Wike

He said, “That is why I am telling the people there, look, it cannot work. You can’t take everything. So, better do the right thing now.

“Don’t sit there and think that you can muscle me and you can do everything, that you can manipulate anything. You can think you have the numbers to make sure you take everything, but the time is coming when you will account for it.”

Wike, who insisted that the delivery of quality projects by him and his fellow governors will serve the PDP well in their respective states, stated that it will be erroneous for PDP states that had failed to provide good governance to solicit for votes from the electorate.


The governor said, “If any PDP State is not doing well, don’t think you will be voted for because APC is not doing well. If a PDP state, for example, if in Rivers State we didn’t do well, then you’ll say because APC did not do well at the national level, then the people will vote for us. They’ll tell you ‘PDP, you didn’t do well in Rivers State.’ People don’t understand that. And that is why the party should respect us and know that we are the ones campaigning for the party, because we have what to campaign with.”

He explained that his administration had avoided the pitfalls most governments suffer because they do not set aside requisite budget for projects they conceptualize, and they end up littering the places with uncompleted projects.

The governor stated that the establishment of a multi-campus for RSU was strategic to increasing access to education, providing more space for effective teaching and learning to take place and growing the economy of rural communities.

The governor directed the chairman of Emohua local government area, Dr. Chidi Lloyd, to within the next three months build a police station that will provide security to the new campus.

Performing the inauguration of the campus and flag-off of the staff quarters, Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde, said members of the Wike Camp will continue to fight for their space within the PDP.

Makinde said: “If children are doing all of these, what Nigeria needs are children. My brother can rest assured that Nigerians appreciate him. Even in the fight that we lost; we did not lose with our heads bowed.

“We lost knowing that we stood for the truth and we stood for what is good for this country. We will continue to fight for our space within PDP to ensure that what is good for our people is given to our people.”


 Obasanjo, Wike Are Part Of PDP’s Victory Plan – Atiku’s Camp

Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has confirmed that former President Olusegun Obasanjo and governor of River state, Nyesom Wike, are part of his project to win the 2023 presidential election.

Mr Charles Aniagwu, spokesperson for Atiku’s presidential campaign, who revealed this yesterday in Asaba, Delta State, during a media chat, said that the same God that made Obasanjo to support Atiku in 1999 is still alive and that the support will translate to victory.

While also assuring that Wike had promised to work for PDP and also deliver Rivers State to the party, he said Wike was working tirelessly since the last meeting he had with Atiku on how the party will be victorious in his state, just as he is working to make sure other governors win their states for PDP.

“That Obasanjo once said he does not have a candidate for now when he met with former President Ibrahim Babangida does not mean he is not supporting Atiku. We are quite optimistic he will support Atiku for 2023 presidential ambition

“While we are looking at the Wike issue, that will not make us lose the goal to rescue Nigeria. What we are managing is collaborative efforts. Wike and others have candidates in their states and they will make sure they win, which will translate also to victory for Atiku. We are not losing Rivers, while Wike will also help other governors to win their states,” he said

On whether the youths’ support for Mr Peter Obi, presidential candidate of Labour Party (LP), is a threat to the ambition of Atiku, he dismissed it, saying youths have raised a lot of issues while Atiku, who has displayed his capabilities, has assembled men and women to tackle the issues.

“What matters to the youths is to have good governance. We are happy the energy of the youths tends towards Atiku/Okowa ticket. We want to give a functional country to the youths. Our rescue mission is to correct what is wrong. Our government will be very truthful to Nigerians,” Aniagwu stated.


 Atiku Can Rescue Nigeria, Says Ex-VP Sambo

On his part, the immediate past vice president, Architect Mohammed Namadi Sambo has said former vice president and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, is the best candidate ton fix the present challenges brought upon the country by the All Progressive Congress (APC) administration.

Sambo who stated this at the inauguration of the local government chairmen and secretaries of the National Mandate Group (NMG), Kaduna State chapter, yesterday in Kaduna, also averred that what is happening in Nigeria today needs prayers and contributions of everyone to ensure that the situation is changed completely for a better Nigeria.

The former vice President Sambo, who was represented by Alhaji Rabi’u Bako said, “It is our responsibility now to ensure that we elect a better person for who will lead us in this country, and one person with such capability is the PDP candidate Atiku Abubakar.

“Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is a unifier who wants to bring all Nigerians together, and he is not just a candidate for a particular region but a candidate for all Nigerans, so he is the right candidate to vote for.

“One of the plans of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is to revive the education sector, economy and security of the country. He has all the qualities to rule Nigeria. This is the time to unite and support Atiku Abubakar,” he stressed.


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