The Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has set up a committee to reconcile the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, over the lingering impasse trailing the emergence of the party’s running mate for the 2023 presidential election.
The BoT which met for over one hour on the matter also said it didn’t discuss the call for the sack of the party’s national chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu.
The committee headed by the BoT chairman, Jubril Walid, is expected to reach out to aggrieved members of the party to proffer lasting solution before the commencement of campaign for the 2023 election.
Atiku and Wike have been having a running battle over the choice of Ifeanyi Okowa as the vice presidential candidate of the party, leading to the pro-Wike camp demanding the removal of Ayu, as well as for Atiku to serve only one term.
But speaking on behalf of the BoT, Senator Abdul Ningi said, “We have set up this committee of the BoT to be able to interface between the warring factions, particularly the acrimony that is taking place between the presidential candidate and Governor Wike, and any other conflict that is taking place in the nation within our party formation.
“The committee is the committee of the whole; that means every other BoT member is a member of the committee. I cannot tell you the grievances and the time frame,” he stated.
On the call for Ayu to resign, the BoT said, “We have not even discussed any issue of anybody stepping down. We discussed what we discussed, and what we discussed is what I told you.”
Meanwhile, the calls for Ayu to vacate office took a new twist yesterday as protesters stormed the party national secretariat chanting “Ayu must go” song.
The protesters, who arrived at the PDP national secretariat in their numbers, accused Ayu of high-handedness over the court ruling in Delta State.
They said Ayu lacks the capacity to lead the party to victory in 2023, even as they also accused him of beving a mole in PDP.
The protesters who carried placards with the inscriptions, “Ayu lacks capacity to lead PDP to victory in 2023; Ayu wants to destroy PDP; Ayu is killing Delta PDP; Ayu NWC is biased; PDP is dying in Delta state; Ayu not wishing Delta PDP”, pointed out that Ayu is a mole in PDP.
The protest raged, as the PDP BoT were meeting over the friction arising from the emergence of the party’s presidential running mate.
On July 7, 2022, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja had disqualified the PDP governorship candidate in Delta State, Sheriff Oborevwori, from the race.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo had agreed with the plaintiff that Oborevwori ought not to be the candidate of the PDP for allegedly supplying false and forged documents to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The judge subsequently directed INEC and the PDP to recognise the plaintiff, David Edevbie, as the candidate.
The leadership of the party led by Ayu is yet to effect the change, the reason why the protesters stormed the party national headquarters.
The protesters under the aegis of “Concerned Deltans for good governance,” said, “Ayu is a mole in the PDP to trade the party to APC in Delta.”
The group’s coordinator, Chris Anthony, said, “Ayu-led National Working Committee (NWC) failed to comply, and refused to forward the name of the expected candidate of the party to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“Ayu lacks the capacity to lead. He should resign. He can’t manage the affairs of the party. He can’t obey the rule of law.”
He noted that since the Ayu-led PDP cannot address a minor problem in a state chapter, it won’t be able to address the larger problem in the country.
Anthony continued: “We expect the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) under the watch of Ayu to comply with the judgement that has been passed by Justice Taiwo Taiwo on the 7th.
“They are playing games with judgement. The party is supposed to forward the name of the winner of that election based on the court order to INEC but they have deliberately refused to do that because they are working in connivance with the Delta State governor, Okowa as an individual.
“They have refused to comply with the court order. Funny enough, INEC officially wrote to the PDP through their legal adviser that they have received a judgement of this nature and that they (INEC) will do the needful by complying and they also expect the PDP to do same but the PDP up to his moment has deliberately decided to abandon what the court had said.
“We are all shouting: ‘we want to lead Nigeria.’ If you cannot organise your house properly, how do you expect to address the Nigerian problem? If you simply cannot address the minor problem in Delta, how do Nigerians trust the PDP to tackle the challenges facing the Nigerian nation on a larger scale?
“We are calling on the leadership of the PDP to do the needful; obey the court order, recognise David Edevbie as the governorship candidate of the PDP as the court has so declared.
“The implication of PDP’s action on the Delta issue is that they are trying to throw up the fortunes of the PDP in Delta. Everybody knows that the PDP in Delta state is the majority party and there is no other political party in Delta State apart from the PDP.
“But with the action of the national chairman of the party, we are beginning to be convinced about what people have been saying that Ayu is a mole in the PDP to throw up Delta State PDP to the opposition. We see Ayu as a mole in the PDP. He is playing the script of the APC just to actualise the emergence of APC governor in Delta.
“He lacks the capacity to lead the PDP and so he should honourably resign. He has demonstrated gross incompetence in handling the affairs of the party. Ayu should resign. He does not have the capacity to manage the affairs of the PDP”.