PDP crisis: Wike demands Ayu’s removal, single term for Atiku

… As BOT plans to parley aggrieved members, unify polarized camps

The Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) will on Wednesday meet with the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike and Atiku, Abubakar, its presidential candidate over the lingering post-convention crisis in the party.

Since the emergence of Atiku as the party’s flag-bearer and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State as the vice presidential candidate, PDP has been struggling to stay united ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Sen. Walid Jibrin, the Chairman of the BoT, who spoke with newsmen in Kaduna on Monday assured that Wednesday’s crucial meeting will fast-track the ongoing reconciliation process in the party, adding that the BoT will meet with Atiku and Wike.

The meeting would consider demands of the aggrieved Wike-led camp. The Wike camp, at their meeting on Sunday in Abuja, was said to have insisted on the removal of the National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu.

According to sources at the party’s national secretariat, the Wike camp also wants Atiku to sign an undertaking that he would spend only one term in office before they pledge their support for him. 

Also on the list of demands to be considered by the BoT are that all members of the Wike team will be considered for appointment should the party win the presidential election next year. 

Jibrin said through a statement that the Wednesday meeting would consider all the issues and come up with appropriate recommendations. 

He said: “Interestingly the BoT, the highest advisory and conscious of the party is meeting on Wednesday 3rd August to address properly the issue by coming up with a strong Reconciliation Committee to reconcile all aggrieved members including Governor Wike.

“I want to advise all BoT Members in the Prof Jerry Gana group to attend the BoT meeting on Wednesday in order to come out with a common stand 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.”

The BoT Chairman, however, stated that the challenges are not even up to the level of the crisis rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), adding: “I want to assure everyone that all plans are on the ground to bring all members as one and united because what is happening in PDP can never be compared with the situation in APC and their plans to bring the religious issue of Muslim president and vice president.”

The issue of Ayu’s resignation has been on the front burner because of a reported gentleman agreement, which had requested that Ayu should resign should the presidential candidate of the party emanate from the North. But following the emergence of Atiku, it was learnt that the song changed to allow Ayu stay in office till the conclusion of the general elections.

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