From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja and Chinwendu Obienyi
Peoples Democratic Party Board of Trustees (BoT) has meet with the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, over the crisis rocking the party.
Its chairman, Senator Walid Jibrin, who confirmed it in a telephone interview, said members of the board met with Atiku, yesterday, in Abuja, shortly after their meeting.
He noted that they had a fruitful discussion on how to resolve all the issues that arose from the nomination of the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, as his running mate. He added that the board intends to meet with Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, to also discuss with him on how to resolve the crisis.
Nevertheless, the BoT explained that there was nothing to the absence of some members of the board at its meeting earlier in the day.
Jibrin explained that Enugu State Sovernor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, had called to inform him that he was out the country. He added that it was possible other members who were absent had other engagements.
Aside Wike, others absent at the meeting were former minister of information, Jerry Gana; Senator Zainab Kuye and Chief Olabode George, former deputy national chairman of the party.
Gana and Kuye were among supporters of Wike, who at a meeting on Sunday, insisted that the National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, must be replaced with a Southerner as part of condition for reconciliation in the party.
It was, however, learnt that at yesterday’s meeting, members of the board were divided over the demand. A source privy to the meeting said the board could not reach a consensus on how best to resolve the demand by the Wike camp for the sack of the national chairman as a condition for peace.
“ After deliberations, a committee of the whole BoT was set-up to interface with the waring groups,” he said.
The source said there was need for great care in handling the Wike issue as it could jeopardise the chances of Atiku Abubakar in the 2023 poll.
“We need to tell ourselves the truth, the presidential candidate is from the North; BoT Chairman, North and National Chairman of the party also from the north. We should face the reality.”
However, former deputy Senate leader, Abdul Ningi, who briefed journalists after the meeting, said all BoT members would serve as a committee to resolve the crisis in the party. He, however, said no time frame was set for the committee to complete the reconciliation move.
The former Senate leader, while responding to question on the demand for Ayu’s replacement said: “We have not even discussed any issue of anybody stepping down. We discussed what we discussed, and what we discussed is what I told you.”
Meanwhile, some aggrieved members had stormed the party’s national secretariat to demand the immediate resignation of Ayu. The protesters, from Delta State, accused the national chairman of alleged complicity in the nomination crisis in the state chapter of the party.
They claimed Ayu lacked the capacity to lead the PDP to victory in the 2023 general elections. The protesters, who carried placards with various inscriptions, accused the PDP chairman of failing to respect the court judgement in respect of the gubernatorial candidate of the opposition party in Delta.
However, speaking on a programme monitored by Daily Sun, lawyer and party stalwart, Adakole Ijogi, noted that the PDP leadership and major stakeholders were working to mend what has become an untamed disunity in the party.
Ijogi confirmed that there had been processes, backdoor meetings and in a couple of days, all the disagreements would be resolved.
“We cannot say that the Wike group has a list of demands when they have not even met. Demands have not been made public and so there are insinuations here and there and when it comes to the resignation of the chairman, my own personal opinion is that when you look at the way the PDP is structured currently, chairman of the PDP Governors Forum is from Sokoto, the presidential candidate is from Adamawa and the National Chairman of the party is from the North and also is the BoT who is from the North and so there is a political sophistication that takes care of such political break-manship and so I believe the wrangling will end.”