There are uncertainties over the tenure of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), following the suspension of the national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu.
It was gathered that in the aftermath of Ayu’s suspension, some of the governors elected on the platform of the opposition party might move for the dissolution of the entire NWC…… CONTINUE READING
Ayu, who was suspended last Sunday by his ward for alleged anti-party activities, has been restrained by a Benue High Court from parading himself as national chairman, pending the hearing and determination of a suit against him.
The national chairman’s suspension is the climax in the battle of supremacy between him and the G-5 governors following the emergence of Atiku Abubakar and Ifeanyi Okowa as the opposition party’s presidential and vice presidential candidates respectively.
The G-5 governors, which consists of Governors Nyesom Wike, Rivers; Samuel Ortom, Benue; Okezie Ikpeazu, Abia; Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Enugu and Seyi Makinde, Oyo, had insisted on Ayu’s replacement with a southerner to strike a North/South balance in the positions in the party, as a condition for reconciliation. However, the PDP chairman said he wouldn’t resign his position.
In the aftermath of the February 25 presidential election, which the PDP lost, Wike said the next phase of the battle was to take over the opposition party and rebuild it, after chasing out those who did not mean well for it.
However, with Ayu seemingly out, it was not clear, as at press time, what would be the fate of other members of the NWC. The tenure of the NWC members, who assumed office in December 2021, is expected to expire in 2025. Inside sources told Saturday Sun that some of the PDP governors had planned to move for the replacement of the NWC with a caretaker committee that would manage the affairs of the party for about one year, before the election of a new set of NWC members.
Nevertheless, one of the sources told Saturday Sun that the governors, especially the G-5 members, might consider the interest of their loyalists in the NWC in taking a decision on the leadership of the party.
“They were planning for a one-year caretaker committee. I can confirm that to you. But they may have changed the script. You know politics is not static. Don’t forget, too, most of the NWC members were nominated by the governors,” he stated.
The PDP NWC was polarised following the post-nomination crisis that rocked the opposition party, with some of the members, including the Deputy National chairman (South), Taofeek Alapaja, siding with the G-5 governors.
However, Saturday Sun also gathered that the PDP Acting National Chairman, Umar Damagum, is intensifying efforts to reconcile all aggrieved members of the party. The acting chairman, it was gathered, was leveraging on his relationship with the Bauchi State governor, Bala Mohammed, to push his peace initiative.
A source at the PDP National Secretariat told Saturday Sun that immediately Damagum was named Acting National Chairman, he started reaching out to the PDP governors and aggrieved members of the opposition party.
The source noted that the decision to reverse the referral of Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, to the National Disciplinary Committee, as well as the nullification of the suspension of the former Secretary to Government of the Federation ( SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim; Ayo Fayose and Ibrahim Shema, former governors of Ekiti and Kastina states respectively, was a fallout of the consultations by Damagum.
Saturday Sun gathered that Damagum was working on the possibility of the NWC meeting with the PDP Governors Forum in the shortest possible time and other party organs to chart a way forward for the opposition party. The party source said: “The acting chairman is saying that he does not want to preside over a divided party. You know since that problem started we have never had any meeting of the governors.”
A top party official, who does not want his name in print, told Saturday Sun the plan to disband the NWC had been jettisoned following recent developments in the party.
He said: “The plan for the caretaker committee is dead. Damagum has started reconciliation. As you are aware, all those suspended have been recalled. Now that Ayu is out; those pushing for the caretaker have soft-pedaled.
“Don’t forget that most of the NWC members are loyalists of the governors. Those who were in support of Ayu have now fallen in line.”….. CONTINUE READING