From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP), yesterday, suspended its presidential campaign even as anxiety continued to mount over the face-off between Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, and his supporters and the party leadership.
Daily Sun learnt that the presidential campaign slated for Kebbi State, yesterday, was put off, while the Zamfara State campaign, scheduled to hold today, was also postponed. In the same vein, the PDP presidential campaign rally scheduled for Kaduna, on Saturday was also put off. The suspensions have been linked by many party faithful to the lingering crisis and ongoing efforts to pacify all aggrieved persons and ensure a united house ahead of the presidential poll next year.
But spokesman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council, Charles Aniagwu, denied that the campaign was suspended. He told Daily Sun that the timetable was merely adjusted, saying it would resume next Monday.
“There are minor repositioning of our campaign. We are going to be in Kaduna on Monday. So, it is not a suspension. There are some other little things that will still be going on; that we are doing. The presidential candidate is engaged in some consultations, here and there, which of course is an ongoing thing.” Regardless, Daily Sun learnt that the party was forced to cancel the rallies over continuous demand by aggrieved leaders for the replacement of its National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu.
“The campaigns were put on hold to enable the presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, further engage with Wike and other aggrieved members of opposition party.” He also disclosed that Atiku had reached out to two former governors from the South South and a former president of the Senate to appeal to the Rivers State governor and his supporters to reconsider their stance in the interest of the party.
“Nothing is off the table as far as it is for the good of the PDP and the good of Nigeria. Nothing is off the table. The door has not been shut against anybody.”
The opposition party has been enmeshed in crisis following the nomination of Atiku and Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa as presidential and vice presidential candidates respectively.
The Wike camp which include Governors Samuel Ortom, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Okezie Ikpeazu and Seyi Makinde of Benue, Enugu, Abia and Oyo states have insisted that Ayu must be replaced with a Southerner, ahead of the election, to strike a North/ South balance in the as condition for reconciliation in the party.