21st September, 2022
The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP gets messier on Wednesday with a group loyal to Governor Nyesom Wike announcing that they will not be part of the campaign of presidential candidate of the party, Atiku Abubakar, for the 2023 elections.
The group, after an all night meeting in the private residence of Wike in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, said they will not participate in the campaign unless Iyorcha Ayu resigned as the chairman of the party.
The decision of the group was announced by former Deputy National Chairman of APC, Bode George after the meeting that was held from 7pm on Tuesday, September 20 to past 2am on Wednesday September 21.
Those at the meeting include Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State; former Governors Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo, Ayo Fayose of Ekiti, Donald Duke of Cross River, Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe and Jonah Jang of Plateau, former Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke.
Others are Jerry Gana; South-South Chairman of the PDP, Dan Orbih; former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chibudom Nwuche; Senator Suleiman Nazif, Nnenna Ukeje, among several others.
The decision comes some days to September 28, the official date for candidates to kick-off campaign as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Wike and his group had insisted that with the emergence of Atiku from Adamawa in Northeast Nigeria as the presidential candidate, the position of the national chairman of PDP, now occupied by Iyorcha Ayu from Benue State in the North central Nigeria should be ceded to the South.
But Atiku had not supported the call, as he insisted that Ayu can only be removed from office according to the constitution of the PDP.
After announcing members of his presidential campaign council late last week left Nigeria for Europe while Ayu had also left the country for an undisclosed destination in Europe.
But some analysts said the composition of the Presidential Campaign Council was itself a confirmation that Atiku may have decided to stick with Ayu while consigning the demands of Wike and his group aside in his battle for the presidency.
Makinde was named as vice Chairman, South of the Council.