PDP crisis: Govs split, Wike’s camp rejects campaign offers

There are no signs of respite yet in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) despite the vote of confidence passed on the party’s National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, on Thursday by the National Executive Committee (NEC).

Governors elected on the platform of the party seemed to have drawn the battle line by showing where they belong in the face-off between the PDP presidential candidate Alhaji  Atiku Abubakar and Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike.

Out of 13 governors, only four – Aminu Waziri Tambuwal (Sokoto); Douye Diri (Bayelsa); Darius Ishaku (Taraba); Bala Mohammed (Bauchi) –  attended the Thursday meeting.

Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom sent his deputy Benson Abounu, while Adamawa State Deputy Governor Crowther Seth stood in for his principal, Ahmadu Fintiri.

It was unclear yesterday whether Ortom, who is currently in the United States of America, remains in Wike’s camp or he is on Atiku’s side.

Although Edo Governor Godwin Obaseki was represented at the Caucus Meeting on Wednesday by his deputy, Comrade Philip Shaibu, there was no representation for him at the NEC session.

Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa (the Vice Presidential Candidate of PDP) and Akwa Ibom State Governor Emmanuel Udom were said to be abroad.

A top source told The Nation yesterday that the NEC meeting “revealed the depth of the crisis in the party.”

The source said: “While Atiku could boast of six governors, five others are with Wike including Ortom who was said to be ‘floating’ last night.The source described Governors Obaseki and Udom as the ‘tie breakers’ in the party.

The top leader said: “Despite the concessions made by Atiku’s group, Wike’s camp has remained adamant on Ayu’s exit and the NEC meeting on Thursday foreclosed reconciliation.

“Our governors are now in four camps. Some are for Ayu, others for Wike, the so-called neutral group and some on a spying mission.

“To preserve the unity of the party, Senator Walid Jubril, who had three months left in office, was asked to step aside as the chairman of PDP’s Board of Trustees (BOT).

“To sack Ayu was an impossible task because the founders of PDP have stood by him. They believe that Wike as an individual is not greater than the party, “These leaders also do not joke with party discipline. Most of them were angry that Wike was riding the party roughshod.”

Asked of the next step, the source, who has been privy to all negotiations, said: “Atiku will proceed with his reconciliation agenda and campaign.

“We are confident that more governors will back Atiku because it is about PDP returning to power.”

A source in Wike’s camp said: “Go and check your facts; the governors with Atiku are not up to six. You will see what will happen soon.

“We have rejected the so-called concession of the post of the BOT chairman to the South. This is not substantial.”

Pressed to expatiate, the source said: “Wike’s camp may reject campaign directorate offers from Atiku unless Ayu is removed.

“The camp may not contribute to Atiku’s campaign and it may also engage in minimum participation at all levels.

“We will protect the party’s interest to retain power in 2023 in our various states. It is good luck to those who do not want equity.

“We will certainly not disclose all our options until we get to a safe bend.”

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