2023: PDP Crisis Worsens, Abubakar In A Fix Over Senator Ayu,  As Jibrin, BOT Chairman Resigns

By Suleiman Umaru

 Barely Six months to the 2023, Presidential elections, the internal  crisis in the main leading  Opposition,  People’s Democratic Party, PDP,  since the emergence of Atiku Abubakar, a former Nigerian  Vice President as the party Candidate  for the 2023, general elections  is far from being  over.

The crisis, according to political Observers has moved from bad to worse in the past few months that the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, now mocks Senator Iyorchia Ayu, the PDP National Chairman, over his inability to run is party and wonders h

the party could govern the country if elected to form the next government after the 2023, general elections.The PDP crisis which is being spear headed by Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers had dragged on for over four months without any sign of it coming to an end for the party Presidential Campaign Council to settle down to plan for upcoming general elections.

Wike: insists Senator Ayu, PDPD, national Chairman Must Resign

 Abubakar, may not have issued a categorical Statement in support or opposed to the demand of the Wike’s camp insisting that Ayu, the Benue state born National Chairman of the PDP, must vacate his position for a southerner but Katch Ononuju, a Chieftain of the party would Nigerians to believe that he really wants Ayu to resign so that he can have a peaceful party to the February 25, Presidential election.

The Rivers state governor had alluded also to the fact that Abubakar, the PDP, Presidential Candidate had told him in person when he won the May Presidential primary of the party that ‘’Ayu must vacate his position as party Chairman for a southerner. According to him when the former Vice President came to see him in his house in Abuja after the party Convention’’ he had told him: I want us to work together, promising that’’ Ayu must go’’. He was said to have justified his position on the ground that as party Candidate for the 2023, general elections from the north, the National Chairman, will come from the south’’.

Wike had expected Abubakar, the PDP Touch Bearer, to implement what he had told him since after the party Convention.   The PDPD Flag bearer, according to informed party sources was said to have come to understand that Ayu, the party National Chairman, was the reason for the current internal implosion of the party.

 He was said to have come to the conclusion that’’ as long as he stays as the party National Chairman, he will divide the party into factions, which may result in the party losing the 2023, Presidential election to the rival APC or LP.  He was said to have also feared that Ayu’s decision to complete his four year tenure will further polarize the party but was reluctant to push for his removal.  

Ayu: Nationa Chairman PDP, Refuses To Step Down

Ononuju, a PDP, Chieftain who could not hide his feelings had said that that the agitation for a southerner to replace Ayu, the National Chairman goes beyond Wike, the Rivers state governor, describing it as a’’ collective demand of the PDP caucus who are against the idea of northerners occupying the three top positions of the party, ahead of the 2023, general elections’’.

 Worried by the internal crisis in PDP, may have informed why Abubakar, the PDP Candidate has been much concerned on how to reconcile with the Rivers governor, by holding series of meetings with various groups to advise him on what to do to end the party intractable crisis.

 . Wike,  a  former Presidential aspirant of the PDP  in its May 2022, primary,  and who believed that he was cheated and shortchanged when he lost out to Abubakar, the Adamawa state  born PDP, Presidential Candidate for the 2023, general elections, have no option but to lead a formidable  camp,  calling for Senator Ayu, the National Chairman, to vacate his position for a southerner .

Abubakar, may have had at the back of his mind that by reconciling with the Rivers state governor and leaving out  Samuel Ortom, Okezie Ipeazu, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and Seyi Makinde, all PDP , governors from Benue, Abia, Enugu and Oyo states respectively,, it will restore normalcy in the party. He may have been disappointed

At the instance of the former Nigerian Vice President, the PDP, governorship Candidates, across the states of the Federation had visited Wike in his private residence in PortHarcourt, the Rivers state capital recently as part of their own effort towards proffering solution to the long-running political row between Abubakar, and Wike, the Rivers state governor. They were said to have pleaded with Wike n their closed door meeting in his prive residence in PortHarcourt ‘’to forgive, support Abubakar and Ayu, led National Working Committee, NWC, for peace to reign’’.

The PDP Governorship Candidates who are not yet done in their search for peace in the PDP, were said to have initiated another meeting with the Ayu, led NWC, in order for it to take a decision on the party crisis.  Isa Mohammed Ashiiru, the Kaduna state, PDP, governorship Candidate, who had led the other PDP, governorship Candidates to meet with Wike and Ayu, led NWC, is optimistic that the frosty relationship between Rivers state governor and Abubakar, will normalize before the 2023, Presidential Campaign begins in order to get all hands in the party to be on deck, to defeat the ruling APC and other parties that may have fielded Candidates in the 2023, general elections to form the next government.  

 In  a fire brigade approach, Abubakar on Wednesday, September 7, 2022, in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, had hosted all the former PDP Presidential aspirants   at his Asokoro residence. There were indications that Bukola Saraki, a former governor of Kwara state and the immediate past Senate President, Pius Ayim, a former Senate President, Wike and Emmanuel Udom, governor of Akwa Ibom state, were conspicuously absent, fueling speculations making the rounds that the PDP Presidential Candidate was in a fix.

 Although, in attendance at the Abubakar initiated meeting with the former Presidential aspirants of the party were Dele Momodu, a vetran Journalist, Mohammed Hayatudeen, Tari Oliver and Charles Ugwu, described as feather weights in party circles,that may not have changed anything.

The PDP Presidential Candidate who may have made the other former Presidential aspirants who had lost the party primary to him to feel at home when he promised ‘’to work with all of them’’ had assured them that ‘’they will have various roles to play in the victory of the party at the 2023 polls’’.

He may have alluded to Wike and his camp who are still nursing grudge over the outcome of the party Presidential primary last May when he commended the PDP former Presidential aspirants   who had honoured his invitation to attend the meeting   for ‘’accepting the outcome of the party Convention that produced him  as the PDP Flag bearer, and for not raising dust’’.

 Indeed, the Rivers state governor may have sent a message to Atiku, that the game is up, as he had hosted Makinde, governor of Oyo state and a member of his political camp  in PortHarcourt that same Wednesday, Setember 7, 2022, that Abubakar had hosted former Presidential aspirants of the party in his Aokoro residence  by engaging him to commission  the Emuoha Campus of the Rivers state , university  University at Emuoha Local Government area of the state.

Aware of the deepening crisis in the PDP, ahead of the 2023, general elections may have informed why the PDP caucus had met at the Akwa state governor’s odge, Asokoro, FCT. Information pieced together from the party Heaequarters shows that  Bode George, a former Deputy National Chairman of the party and one-time Chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, during Obasanjo’s Administration,  Vice President Namadi Sambo during Jonathan ‘s Administration, Ayu and Jbrin, the party, BOT, Chairman, were at the meeting including Abubakar, the party Candidate for the 2023, general elections.

Many had expected that the PDP caucus will take advantage of the meeting to force Ayu, the National Chairman who is at the centre of the party crisis to vacate the plum position but failed to do so. Debo Ologunagba, the PDP, National Publicity Secretary, had said that the issue for Ayu to vacate his position was never mentioned during the meeting.

There are insinuations that some of the party caucus members who were not happy over what is happening in the once united party that made members to be proud had wanted a motion to be moved for the resignation of the party National Chairman   but could not voice it out. Abubakar and Ayu supporters, who were said to have dominated the PDP caucus could not take a decision as the meeting   was said to have ended without members taking a position on Ayu’s resignation.

Angered by the information that may have  filtered out from the PDP caucus meeting in at the FCT, which was not encouraging  may have further emboldened Wike , the Rivers state governor, who may have spoken the mind of his Team members  that ‘’the time of reckoning  is coming  for those  who had continued  to insist in the party that  they can  take  everything  to themselves because they have the population to do so’’.

He was said to have told those that cares to listen that ‘’nobody can silence him from speaking out his mind about ‘’the great injustice in the PDP and the demand for the right thing to be done’’. He was said to have made it clear that ‘’such persons will definitely account for every wrong thing they have done when the day of reckoning comes’’.

Jibrin, PDP, BOT Chairman Resigns For Peace To Reign

Given that Wike and his Team, meant every bit of their threat and Ayu, the PDP, National Chairman is not ready to bow to pressure to step down for a southerner may have forced Jibrin, the party BOT, Chairman to resign to pave way for Adolpus Wabara, from the south eat state of Abia to take over for peace to reign in the party.

 He may have got it wrong.  This is because Wike and his Team members were said to have rejected the BOT Chairman resignation, insisting ‘’Ayu, the National Chairman must step down’’. How the PDP  internal crisis will end remain to be seen.

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