The stand of Iyorchia Ayu as the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) could collapse ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
This is as five aggrieved Governors in the party identified as G-5 and the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar plans to close ranks.
The G-5 governors, which include Governors Nyesom Wike (Rivers State), Samuel Ortom (Benue State), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu State) Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia State) and Seyi Makinde (Oyo State) had pulled out of the party’s presidential campaign council due to Ayu’s failure to resign from office.
The Governors had condemned northern dominance in key positions in the party.
However, Atiku and Wike last week stated that they are ready to reconcile and work together ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Following the latest outburst by the Governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed about the treatment meted out to him in the presidential campaign council of the party and threatening to pull out, Atiku has considered appealing to the aggrieved Governors.
Mohammed had accused Atiku of allegedly sabotaging his second-term bid, and threatened to resign his position as the vice chairman of the PDP presidential campaign council.
A member of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) who spoke with the Daily Sun said some prominent Nigerians are intervening to boost the chances of PDP in the 2023 race.
He said, “yes, there are moves for reconciliation. Prominent Nigerians who want to save the country from the calamity that the APC-controlled government has brought upon the country are intervening. They have decided that the crisis should come to an end.”
A source close to one of the aggrieved Governors disclosed that the G-5 despite their move for reconciliation might not drop their call for Ayu’s resignation.
The source, however, stated that the aggrieved governors may accept that the PDP Deputy National Chairman (North), Umar Damagum, preside over the affairs of the party until after the elections.
According to the source, “They are open for reconciliation for the good of the party and the party. But I don’t think they will shift ground on Ayu’s removal. The fact that they have accepted to reconcile is a step forward. One of the main conditions is the resignation of the national chairman. As far as I know, I don’t think there has been any shift. They may accept a compromise position that Ayu goes and Damagum takes over in acting capacity.”
Another member of the party’s NEC wondered why the aggrieved Governors would be calling for Ayu’s resignation when the election is close by.
He said, “we have two months to elections, why should they still be demanding that the national chairman steps down?”
There are claims that Ayu’s continued stay in the party would be dependent on Atiku’s camp negotiation with Wike and his allies.