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2023: PDP flags-off presidential campaign in Uyo

Barring any last-minute changes, the leading opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will officially flag off its presidential campaign for the 2023 poll Monday in Uyo,…

Barring any last-minute changes, the leading opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will officially flag off its presidential campaign for the 2023 poll Monday in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.

The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Debo Ologunagba, told newsmen that all arrangements had been put in place for the campaign flag-off, adding that the party’s campaign would be issue-based.

Meanwhile, the Board of Trustee (BoT) of the party led by the acting chairman, Senator Adolphus Wabara, is said to be making last-minute efforts to woo the camp of the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, into the campaign train.

The last meeting between Wike and the members of the BoT in Port Harcourt was inconclusive as they were unable to find common ground.

Recall that the current crisis bedevilling the PDP follows the defeat of Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, in the presidential primary by Atiku Abubakar.

The situation worsened when Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, was picked as Atiku’s running mate instead of Wike.

A chieftain of the party, however, told Daily Trust yesterday that the BoT was in a last-minute push to have a deal in favour of Wike and his camp, even though the issue of the national chairman of the party, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, vacating his seat seemed impossible.

The source said, “The BoT is making frantic efforts to see whether they can broker any peace deal before the campaign commences tomorrow (today). It is not going to be easy, but they have shown that they do not want to give up.

“The real issue is that I don’t think they will advise Ayu to go because of the timing and circumstances, and that is the main thing Wike and his people are asking for.

“You know, the BoT is an advisory body. They can only advise. They are supposed to meet with the National Working Committee (NWC), after which they will come up with their report on the way forward.

“It will now be left to the candidate, NWC and the Wike group to accept the recommendations or not. I know that many of the stakeholders are expected to meet this night (yesterday) and fashion out a deal.”

Wike and his camp are asking Ayu to vacate his seat to balance the leadership of the party which they say is skewed against the South, a development Ayu has continued to resist.

Our correspondent reports that Ayu and the party’s presidential candidate for the 2023 poll, Atiku Abubakar, are from the North, contrary to the provisions of the party’s constitution.