PDP: Peace on holiday 

From what we are reading and hearing, the internal wrangling in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is far from being over. If anything, it is rather escalating. 

Escalating? 

That’s right. The insistence by Iyorchia Ayu, the party’s national chairman, on maintaining his seat in the midst of the storm, despite Wike and those in his camp saying otherwise, may be prolonging the imbroglio. The resignation last week of Walid Jibrin, chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT), did not help matters, either. Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State sneered at Jibrin’s resignation, dubbing the same “a distraction”. 

Is there more to this than they’re telling us? 

Well, that looks like it, at least from a report by Vanguard. The Southwest leaders of the party, including Oyo state’s governor Seyi Makinde, former governor of Ekiti state, Ayo Fayose, and states chairmen are said to be demanding for the national chairmanship of the party to be zoned to the region and it is part of their reason for insisting on Ayu’s resignation. The party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar is expected to be in Ibadan, Oyo state capital, as part of efforts to reconcile various factions, but according to the Vanguard report, the Southwest leaders met yesterday and plan to boycott Atiku’s meeting. 

When two brothers fight to death….. An African proverb says “when two brothers fight to the death, a stranger inherits their property”. It is increasingly looking like that might be the fate of the PDP ahead of the 2023 general elections, unless various factions are able to reach a truce soon. There are rumours that governor Wike and others in his camp are already considering working for the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, ahead of the election. On the possibility of an eventual truce, a source within the PDP, according to the Vanguard report, said, “it is in Atiku’s hands, the Wike team has laid its card on the table that what is fair and equitable is that once the presidential candidate comes from one zone, it is for the chairmanship to come from another”. 

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The dispute became even more complicated recently, when the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) passed a vote of confidence on Ayu, a move that enraged the Wike camp. Peace has been alien to the party since its presidential primary and the selection of Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, as the presidential running mate. Having survived removal, at least for now, the embattled national chairman is traveling out of the country today and is not expected to return until the end of the month.