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2023: PDP Crisis Deepens Seven Days To Kick-Off Campaign

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The crisis rocking the main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP took a turn for the worse on Wednesday as Governor Nyesom Wike’s camp pulled out of the campaign council of Atiku Abubakar, the party’s presidential candidate.

The Rivers State governor and his camp explained why they pulled out of the party’s campaign council, saying the party failed to resolve the issue of the party chairman’s resignation first.

Wike; his Oyo State counterpart, Seyi Makinde; Bode George; and other stakeholders issued a statement, saying they resolved not to participate in the PDP presidential campaign until Iyorchia Ayu resigns as the national chairman of the party.

The statement signed by Wike’s media aide, Kelvin Ebiri, said they emphasised that the publication of the Presidential Campaign Council list without the resolution of the debacle over the party’s chairman translated to “putting the cart before the horse.”

READ ALSO: 2023: We Won’t Support Atiku For Presidency – Wike’s Group

The statement said the Wike camp rose from a crucial meeting in the early hours of Wednesday in Port Harcourt, quoting Makinde as saying they hoped that the powers that be within the PDP would listen to the voice of reason and do the needful.

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The former PDP South-West national vice chairman, George, who read out the communiqué after the meeting, said they were concerned about the divisions in the party, and bemoaned the failure of the leadership to utilise the internal conflict resolution mechanisms to ensure inclusiveness of all and guarantee victory for the PDP.

It said: “The published presidential campaign council list translates to putting the cart before the horse. The pertinent issue before the party remains the resolution of the Ayu leadership debacle, which is a departure from the spirit and letter of our constitution which undermines the unity of our great party.

“We, therefore, resolved that Senator Iyorchia Ayu resign as the national chairman of the party for an acting chairman of Southern Nigeria extraction to emerge, and lead the party on the national campaign.

“Consequently, we resolved not to participate in the campaign council in whatever capacity until the resignation of Senator Iyorchia Ayu.”

In the same vein, former Plateau State governor, Jonah Jang, said the description of Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, as the PDP presidential primary’s hero by Ayu was antithetical to the principle of justice, fair play and equity on which the party was formed.

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He said: “It is true that everything is being done for us to have internal democracy in the party. But, for the national chairman to go and embrace Tambuwal, calling him the hero of the convention, which means there was a private arrangement that was done with Tambuwal to shortchange other contestants, including Governor Wike. Here was a referee who now helped one of the sides to score a goal, and then blew the whistle that a goal had been scored.

READ ALSO: 2023: Despite My Support For Wike, I’ll Work For Atiku – Ayo Fayose

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“This is not what we formed the PDP to do for Nigerians, and therefore, we unequivocally asked that Ayu has to step down so that having got the presidential candidate from the northern part of the country through his assistance, he should as well now step down so that a national chairman can move to the south, and the party can be united for the campaign towards 2023.”

Jang said that Wike and others’ call for Ayu to resign was aimed at addressing the structural imbalance in the party’s hierarchy.

On his part, Jerry Gana, former minister of information, said if PDP cannot restructure itself, it cannot restructure Nigeria.

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PDP

“Therefore, this call for the chairman to step down or resign is not because any of us is aggrieved, but because we believe it is important to ensure a fair structure, a just structure, a principle structure, a constitutional structure for the party,” he said.

Gana said they would remain committed members of PDP, but would continue to insist that the right things be done. “We remain PDP, but we want things done justly, fairly, equitably.”

READ ALSO: 2023: Tinubu, Atiku, Obi, 15 Others Make INEC Presidential Aspirant List

Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, former Gombe State governor, said they would work for the party to the extent that fairness, equity and justice were ensured in the party.

Other members at the meeting include Ayo Fayose, Olusegun Mimiko, Donald Duke, former governors of Ekiti, Ondo and Cross River; Dan Orbih, PDP South-South national vice chairman; and Mohammed Adoke, former Attorney General of the Federation.

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Photo Credit: Getty

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