The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seems unsettled following the open endorsement of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ahmed Bola Tinubu, by Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State.
Before now, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike had also endorsed the governorship candidate of the APC in Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
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Makinde, Wike and three other governors of the PDP; Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) and Samuel Ortom (Benue) have been calling for the resignation of the national chairman of the party, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, as a condition to support the presidential candidate of the party, Atiku Abubakar.
Speaking at an event organised by the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, in honour of Tinubu, the Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Bayo Lawal, who represented Makinde, said the people of the state will stand by any decision taken by the Yoruba leaders.
Daily Trust gathered that these developments are unsettling some leaders of the PDP ahead of the election.
A source at the party’s secretariat told Daily Trust that “no party man will be happy with the situation of things.”
Also, a member of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party, Tim Osadolor said, Governor Wike and his camp have shown that they are “sour losers”.
He questioned why ordinarily a party man in his right senses will endorse the candidate of another party.
“If you are aggrieved with Atiku Abubakar, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, are you also aggrieved with the Lagos State chapter of the party?”
He accused Wike of positioning himself to contest election in 2027 by working against Atiku, and plotting to take over the structure of the party after the 2023 elections.
But, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Debo Ologunagba, said in spite of comments by some of the governors of the party, they remain a united political party.
“We have an internal mechanism that is very robust. We are doing something, but it might be slow for you but we know reconciliation is not a hundred-meter dash, it is a marathon and we are following it through, slowly and surely; we are united and moving towards the election.
“Has anybody said he is not a member of the party? They have always said they are members of the party. Some of them are candidates under this party and I think that should lead the issue. They are members of the party and they are supporting the party,” he said.
Meanwhile, Wike, yesterday said the National Chairman of the PDP, Iyorchia Ayu, cannot lead the party to victory in 2023, so there is no going back in their quest for Ayu’s removal.
Wike, who made the statement in Port Harcourt, said he and other members of his camp would not shift ground on the demand for Ayu’s removal.
“If you like abuse us the way you want, but we will stand by what we have said. If you say, you will not relinquish that position to the South, no problem. Go ahead, but you can’t force us to do what we think is not right. So, this kind of man cannot, in all honesty, take this party to any victory. He cannot.”
Wike also noted that peace and security will remain elusive across Nigeria if the majority tribes and those who think they have dominance over others continue to marginalise them.
According to him, for there to be an enduring future for Nigeria, all Nigerians must see themselves as equal stakeholders in the project called, Nigeria.