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Anti-Party: States’ PDP, Groups List Wike, Ortom, Others For Sanctions

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'Ortom Will Will Prefer To Lose Ayu Than To Abandon Wike'

The political landscape within the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is heating up as the 2023 presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, engage in a fierce battle for control of the party’s structures.

This struggle gains momentum as the 98th National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party draws near.

In the lead-up to the crucial meeting scheduled for Thursday, April 18, various sectors and organs of the PDP have called for urgent action from the Umar Damagum-led National Working Committee (NWC).

There is a growing demand for an NEC meeting to address and potentially sanction members involved in alleged anti-party activities during the 2023 election.

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The scheduled 98th NEC meeting has reignited the rivalry between Atiku and Wike, with both camps seeking to solidify their influence within the party.

The contention stems from Atiku’s decision to overlook Wike for the vice-presidential slot after the primary elections, leading to a bitter divide within the PDP.

Wike, feeling sidelined, retaliated by endorsing the All Progressives Congress candidate, Bola Tinubu, during the election, further deepening the rift within the PDP.

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The upcoming NEC meeting is now seen as a battleground for both factions, with intense lobbying for their respective loyalists, particularly from the North Central geopolitical zone, to succeed the former National Chairman, Ayu.

Sources within the PDP reveal that the fight for control has intensified, with both Atiku and Wike factions pushing for their candidates to be announced as the new National Chairman.

One of the sources mentioned that Atiku’s camp has mobilised various independent groups affiliated with the party to write to the NWC as requested and to name Wike, former Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom; former Enugu Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi; former Abia Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, and other party leaders affiliated with the G-5 group for discipline over alleged anti-party activities during the 2023 election.

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A source close to the party leadership stated, “Atiku and Wike’s camps are working tirelessly ahead of the NEC meeting to ensure that if Ayu’s replacement is announced, it will be from their respective camps. However, PDP governors, despite their divisions, are exercising caution due to Ayu’s pending court case, which may delay the announcement.

“Nevertheless, stakeholders from the North Central are already rallying around their candidate for Ayu’s replacement. This explains why names such as former Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki, former Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam, and former Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu are being mentioned as potential replacements. However, there is no clear indication of which camp supports whom, due to the pending court case, ongoing consultation and other factors.

“I am aware that certain groups, evidently loyal to Atiku’s camp, have written to the party, listing Wike, Ortom, former Enugu Governor, former Abia Governor, and others as individuals involved in anti-party activities. They are urging the NWC to forward the report to NEC for appropriate action.”

Another high-ranking member of the PDP NWC confirmed that most state chapters and independent groups affiliated with the party have submitted names of party chieftains allegedly involved in anti-party activities during the 2023 election.

The source, who requested anonymity, also disclosed that the agenda of the 98th NEC meeting scheduled for April 18 includes discussions on the National Chairman, constitutional amendment, 2023 review committee, state congresses, and other matters.

The source while speaking on who will replace Ayu and how, he added, “Ayu is from the North Central, so the North Central region has the prerogative to replace him if there is a vacancy.

“The constitution is very clear; if there is a vacancy, the person must be replaced from the zone where he or she comes from. However, this is currently difficult to do because the PDP is in court. Ayu has taken the party to court, and we are currently in the Court of Appeal with him.

“It would be quite easy if he withdraws the case and resigns; then, the North Central caucus can sit and nominate his replacement.”

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, on his part said the details of the NEC meeting will unveil itself at the right time.

He said, “I don’t want to begin to speculate on what Nigerians should expect or what will happen. When we get to the meeting, the agenda of the party’s NEC will be unveiled.

“I do not want to talk about that ahead of the NEC. When the meeting is properly conveyed you will hear the details.”

On his party, a NEC member, PDP Deputy National Youth Leader, Timothy Osadolor said, “We need to conduct state congresses because the state executives tenure have expired, the electoral laws are clear, we need to put INEC on notice before we conduct such congresses.

“It is only the NEC that can grant the state executives extension. So NEC is meeting to rectify the extension of the tenure of these state executives. Also, all the committees that were set up before the election will also submit their report to the party.”

is an Associate at Naija News. He is a news media enthusiast, he holds a degree in psychology and loves exploring and sharing about the enormous power that lies in the human mind. Email: [email protected], Instagram: adeniyidman

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