Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, may give up on his support for embattled national chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu, as loyalists of Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, are adamant on his removal as a condition for campaigning for the party in the 2023 presidential election.
Daily Independent gathered that if the Wike camp refused to budge, there is no way Atiku can progress in his campaign as many of the governors, who are key stakeholders in the party are on Wike’s side.
The party’s Board of Trustees (BoT) will meet today to mediate in the post-convention crisis, especially the division that has pitched stakeholders in the party in opposing teams following Atiku’s announcement of Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, as his running mate.
Senator Walid Jibrin, the Chairman of the BoT, said today’s crucial meeting will fasttrack ongoing reconciliation process in the party. “The BoT is the highest advisory body and conscience of the party.
After the BoT meeting, we will meet with Wike and all aggrieved members and all past presidential aspirants. It is my prayer as Chairman of BoT that the PDP will remain strong to win all elections in 2023,” he said.
Jibrin said they were concerned that “the election of Atiku Abubakar as our presidential candidate and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as a vice presidential candidate is unnecessarily causing confusion among some PDP members.
“I want to advise all BoT members in the Prof. Jerry Gana group to attend the BoT meeting on Wednesday to come out with a common stance of the BoT.
After the BoT meeting, we will meet with Atiku, Okowa and Wike to finally resolve the matter to make PDP stronger and very united and enable Atiku and Okowa to win the election hands down.”
Speaking with Daily Independent, a PDP governor loyal to Governor Wike said they are resolute in their demands that Ayu must honour the pact he had with them before his emergence as national chairman.
“Yes, we have already laid our demands before the BoT and the first condition for peace is that the national chairman must step down.
That was already agreed in our caucus meeting two nights ago. We will remain in PDP and work for its success but can’t campaign alongside Ayu. “
Ayu has demonstrated partisanship in handling of the crisis in the party. Aside praising (Aminu) Tambuwal as the game changer for stepping down for Atiku at the presidential primaries, we are also aware of the role he played in scheming out Wike as the vice-presidential candidate”.
Laying the blame on the doorsteps of Atiku, he said the former vice president escalated the crisis by granting an interview where he claimed that Ayu can only step down as national chairman if he wins the presidential election.
“We were already making progress but the recent interview granted by the presidential candidate worsened the whole issue.
If Wike who was aggrieved could maintain silence, why can’t he (Atiku) do the same? “In the interview, he said Ayu can only step down if he wins the presidential election.
That was not the agreement we had before the national convention where he (Ayu) was elected the national chairman. Every right thinking person in the party, including Ayu, knows that.
If they are now trying to play funny, we will also prove to them that we are key stakeholders in the party and we will fight this battle to a logical conclusion”. (Daily Independent)