The five governors opposed to Senator Iyorchia Ayu’s continued stay as the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party will on Sunday (today) converge on Lagos for a strategic meeting.
A former National Vice Chairman of the party, Olabode George, disclosed this on Saturday. He said the meeting would avail the group the opportunity to review recent developments in the party before taking its next step.
Although the agenda of the meeting was not clear as at press time, our correspondent gathered that the group will discuss its stand on the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar. The National Executive Committee of the party had in September passed a vote of confidence on Ayu and other members of the National Working Committee.
Wike, who became aggrieved over the outcome of the party’s presidential primary in May, 2022, where he emerged as the first runner up to Atiku, has had four other governors on his side. The four governors are Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State and Samuel Ortom of Benue State.
The governors have held a series of meetings and insisted that Ayu must go. They have been at loggerheads with Atiku whom they believe had not done enough to compel Ayu to quit his post to pave way for a southerner to succeed him, even though some party members said only a northerner could succeed Ayu if he leaves, based on the party’s constitution.
The five governors in September resigned their membership of the PDP Presidential Council. The council has since moved on with campaign activities, with its spokespersons insisting that the PCC was too focused to be distracted.
However, George said, “We are meeting in Lagos on Sunday. The G5 and all of us pressing for the right thing to be done in the PDP will be on ground. I don’t want to say more but the truth is that the PDP needs to put its house in order. Putting the house in order must start from obeying and believing in our constitution. The country is made up of the North and South. When the North takes one thing, the South takes the other. It is as simple as that.”
When reminded that the Director of Strategic Communications of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council, Dele Momodu, recently said Atiku did not have the capacity to make Ayu resign, George said the position of the group, which also includes Donald Duke, Jonah Jang, Olusegun Mimiko, former governors of Cross River, Plateau and Ondo states respectively, as well as ex-Information Minister, Prof Jerry Gana, among others, would be made known after the meeting.
He dismissed the comment credited to Momodu, noting that the veteran journalist joined the PDP only a few months ago and was therefore not in a good stead to speak on matters of equity in the party.
He stated, “Once we finish the meeting, we will talk. Dele Momodu, my little brother, just joined the party. What does he know about the foundation, the rules and tenets of the party? It is Atiku who should talk but he is avoiding it. The founders of this party knew what they were doing when they came up with the issue of equity and fairness in the distribution of offices as early as the formative stage of the party.
“Again, I say we can’t go home and tell our people that we have nothing at hand to bargain with. We certainly can’t tell them now that the chairmanship will come to the South after the elections. This is all I can say for now.”
There are already indications that the five governors are likely to mobilise votes for another candidate. A fortnight ago, Ortom vowed in Makurdi not to support Atiku, describing his supporters as enemies of Benue. A week later, Wike, while hosting Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, in Port Harcourt, said Rivers people would not cast their ballot in accordance with party line. He promised logistic support for Obi anytime he came for campaign.