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PDP Crisis: G-5 Pushes For National Convention To Elect Chairman From South-West

The five governors fighting the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, by Iyorchia Ayu, have decided to assert their influence following the ouster of the National Chairman by pushing for a national convention to elect a new national chairman from the South-West geopolitical zone.

THE WHISTLER gathered on Wednesday that the group, which is led by the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has communicated it support for the acting National Chairman, and have informed him of the plan to ensure the Southwest gets the national chairmanship position for peace to reign.

A member of the National Executive Committee of the party close to the Wike group revealed what led to Ayu’s ouster, saying its was “a clear ambush but Ayu did not realise it.”

The NEC member who’s also a House of Representatives member-elect explained that, “whether the signatures that formed the basis for Ayu’s suspension were fraudulent or not, it’s left for the court to decide but he’s out and you can see the people who mean well for the PDP are celebrating.”

Ayu was suspended by the Igorov Ward Executive Committee of his party in Benue State on Sunday. It’s a ward in Gboko Local Government Area of of the state.

The ward executives had accused the national chairman of anti-party activities and failing to win his polling unit, ward and local government  for the party during the general elections.

THE WHISTLER reported that Ayu had declared his suspension unconstitutional and had vowed to stay on.

But to ensure Ayu’s sack, a member of the party from Benue State, Conrad Utaan, approached the Makurdi High Court to restrain Ayu from parading himself as the chairman of the party.

 The court granted the ex parte motion.

The court order forced an emergency meeting of the party on Tuesday, which resolved that Ayu  step aside until the determination of the suit.

The embattled national chairman eventually stepped aside while the Deputy National Chairman, (North), Umar Damagum was announced as the new chairman in acting capacity.

But the G-5 governors are said to have insisted that a new national chairman be elected to ensure Ayu does not return, THE WHISTLER was told

“It’s operation ‘new national chairman’ now and no longer whether the election is over or not. Besides, no one knows what the tribunal may decide in the face of the overwhelming incidence of rigging in the last presidential election,” the Member-elect explained.

An aide to the Rivers State governor corroborated the position when he confided in our Correspondent that  Ayu “would never return” as national chairman.

He said, “More would come. Before he frees himself from the maze in court, a new national chairman would have emerged.

“The party needs peace. It was beyond expectation to think that we could have won the election in such a fractious state.

“The party was too divided to succeed.

“I hope the acting chairman rescinds the decision of Ayu, especially the suspension slammed on some highly important members like former governor, Ayo Fayose.”

However, Dino Melaye, the spokesman of the party’s presidential campaign council accused Wike of being behind Ayu’s ordeal and advised that it’s too early to laugh.

He told journalists that, “Ayu did not resign; he only stepped aside. He will bounce back and for the G-5 governors, we tell them not to rejoice yet because the music has just started.”

Damagum has already begun a series of meetings on the way forward but some party executives hold the opinion that there should be new leadership so the party can start on a new note.

Already, some estranged members have been reported to have visited the party’s National Headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday to pledge their loyalty, our Correspondent gathered during a visit to the party’s office.

A member of the party executive from Cross River was reported to have called the new leadership to pledge his loyalty with the belief that the entire state executive would work with the new leadership.

Cross River State executive was one of the dozens of state executives that were aligned with the Wike-led group.

A member of the state executive confirmed to this paper that “The relationship with Ayu was not cordial but we would take what’s happening as a breath of fresh air.

“We would align with the formation of a new leadership when the time comes.”



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