The crisis ravaging the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, assumed an ominous dimension, yesterday, with the presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, telling the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike’s camp that he cannot force Senator Iyorchia Ayu to resign as national chairman.
Atiku, who spoke in response to the withdrawal of the Wike camp from the PDP Presidential Campaign Council over Ayu’s retention, urged them to reconsider their stand.
Wike has the backing of former Deputy National Chairman, Chief Olabode George; Professor Jerry Gana; Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State; and former Gombe governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo, among others.
They took the decision of pulling out of the party’s presidential campaign council at a meeting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, on Tuesday night, saying Ayu must quit because he allegedly compromised the party’s last presidential primary.
APC postpones presidential campaign to adjust team list
The All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council has postponed the commencement of its campaign scheduled for Wednesday September 28.
In a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, the Director-General Tinubu/Shettima Campaign Council and Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, announced the postponement, saying the decision was to create room for inclusion of more party chieftains into the council.
The statement is titled, “Adjustment of timetable of activities earmarked to commence campaign by the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council.
Part of the statement read, “Recall that we had earlier earmarked a peace walk and prayers for Wednesday, September 28, 2022, to officially kick-off our campaigns for the 2023 presidential elections.
“We had also announced that the members of the Campaign Council report at the Campaign Headquarters on that day to collect their letters of appointments.
“However, due to the expansion of the list to accommodate more stakeholders and interests within the APC family, we have decided to adjust the time-table of these activities in order to ensure everyone is on board before activities officially commence.
“Consequently, the activities earlier announced for the 28th of September will no longer hold
“As the ruling and most attractive party in Nigeria, we understand the sacrifices and understanding of our teeming members who are more than willing to volunteer themselves for this great task ahead. It also shows the enormous love that the party members have for our candidates.
“A new date and time-table of events will be announced soon.”
Director, Media and Publicity of the council, Bayo Onanuga, had in a statement on Monday said the council would commence official campaign on Wednesday with a prayer session and peace walk in Abuja, in line with the 2023 timetable of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Orton dumps Wike, backs Ayu as PDP chairman
Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom has beaten a retreat in calling for the removal of Iyorchia Ayu as the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Ortom had earlier sided with Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, and his allies in insisting that the PDP should replace Ayu with someone from the South-West since Atiku Abubakar, the party’s presidential candidate comes from the North like Ayu.
Since the emergence of Atiku as the standard-bearer of the party in May, the Wike group has insisted that Ayu must resign as a condition for supporting the PDP presidential candidate.
But Ortom in a statement issued by Nathaniel Ikyur, his chief press secretary, said he had confidence in Ayu’s ability to lead the party to victory in next year’s general election.
The governor was reacting to the allegations by Jemgbagh Development Association, Abuja that he was plotting the downfall of his fellow Benue man, Ayu.
He said he worked tirelessly, alongside other prominent Benue citizens, to ensure that Ayu was elected “as the national chairman of our great party even against all odds”.
The statement read in part, “The governor could not, therefore, turn around to work against him to be removed from office.
“Governor Ortom vouched for the integrity and capacity of Dr Iyorchia Ayu to lead and rebuild the PDP to victory and rescue Nigeria from the misrule of the APC maladministration. That is why Ayu was returned unopposed by the northern caucus of the party and got elected as the national chairman of the PDP at the party’s convention.
“Where was Jemgbagh Development Association, when Governor Ortom galvanised support from across the leaders of the party to make Dr. Ayu PDP’s National Chairman? What was their contribution to that project that they now want to use clannish stance to blackmail the governor?
“This amorphous and emergency Jemgbagh Development Association, Abuja, which has never been heard of before, is now masquerading as the voice of Jemgbagh to embark on campaign of calumny against Governor Ortom, who has worked selflessly for the people of Benue State.
“Governor Ortom is more Jemgbagh than most of the people claiming it now. This is fact, because he has done more for Jemgbagh, both in terms of appointments and projects executed as well as patronage in the area, than even one of the Jemgbagh sons, who was governor. Besides, Governor Ortom has consistently worked for the unity of Benue State and will never stand in the way of any of her citizens, either here in the state or in the diaspora.
“For those, who claimed to be leaders of this Jemgbagh Development Association, Abuja, we urge them to be truly developmental in their drive to build cohesion among the people and attract real development to their area rather than engaging in mischief or blackmail.”
Atiku Snubs Wike, Gives Fresh Appointment To Saraki, Anyim, Shekarau, Secondus, Others
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has approved the appointment of former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and others as Special Advisers.
Naija News reports that this was made known in a statement on Monday by Atiku Abubakar’s Media Adviser, Paul Ibe.
According to the statement, Atiku also appointed former presidential aspirant, Anyim Pius Anyim.
Ibrahim Shekarau who recently joined the PDP from the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) was also appointed as an Adviser.
The statement reads, “Ahead of the commencement of the 2023 election campaign on Wednesday, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party and former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar has made key appointments of Special Advisers aimed at strengthening his presidential campaign team.
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“The appointees are former Senate Presidents, Dr. Bukola Saraki as Special Envoy to the presidential candidate and Senator Pius Anyim, as Special Adviser.
“Also appointed as Special Advisers to the candidate are former governor of Kano State, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau, former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Senator Ehigie Uzamere.
“Former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus was also appointed as Technical Adviser to the presidential candidate.
“The appointments are to take immediate effect.”
Atiku Abubakar charged the appointees to use their vast political experiences in ensuring that the PDP presidential campaign records resounding success in the 2023 election.
Naija News reports that there is no place for Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State among the new appointees.
Wike and Atiku have been at loggerheads over the refusal of the National Chairman of the PDP, Iyorchia Ayu, to resign.
Wike and his loyalists had last week Wednesday pulled out of the Atiku Abubakar Campaign Organisation.
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