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PDP Crisis: Udom Makes Last Minute Move To Convince G-5 Governors

Governor Udom Emmanuel has made a last-ditch effort to persuade the five disgruntled governors of the Peoples Democratic Party to support Atiku Abubakar as the party’s presidential candidate.

Observers noted that the governor knew Wike would not listen to him, describing the endeavor as tardy and dead before it even started.

Others claimed that Governor Emmanuel, the PDP’s presidential campaign council chairman, wanted it known that he tried to bring the governors together but it failed.

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Recall that the disgruntled governors, led by Nyesom Wike, the governor of Rivers State, had sworn to support a presidential candidate other than the PDP’s nominee, whom they claimed was damaging the party’s zoning system.

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The G5, or PDP’s disgruntled governors, have been making unusually loud announcements about a candidate from the South who they would back in the elections of 2023.

As a result of Atiku’s insistence on keeping Iyorchia Ayu, the party’s national chairman from the North, in that position, they had officially renounced their support for him.

The Labour Party’s Mr. Peter Obi and the APC’s Bola Ahmed Tinubu are currently in a dead heat for the presidency, but it is unclear who they would ultimately choose after their recent frolicking with Mr. Tinubu and Mr. Obi.

The governors, who include: Nyesom Wike of Rivers, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, Seyi Makinde of Oyo, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu, and Samuel Ortom of Benue State, believed that the national chairman of the party should step down in order for a chairman from the south to emerge and that the presidential candidate and the national chairman of the party should not come from the same zone.

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Their complaints were made known by their glaring absence from every PDP presidential campaign rally across the country.

However, politics continues to be an exciting game. Everyone defends their own interests, and Atiku is included in the game. Because he must have assessed the two choices and decided to cling onto the retention of Iyorchia Ayu as the national chairman, whom he believed would deliver the North for him at the 2023 election, Atiku has never been influenced by the demands or, better yet, the threats by the G-5.

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Atiku is putting a lot of effort into his campaigning without the irate governors, and all signs point to him not changing his position.

However, the Chairman of the Presidential Campaign Council intervened to fix the crisis in order for the PDP to present a united front and have a greater chance of winning the 2023 election after realizing the five governors’ significant impact, particularly in the South South.

Gov. Emmanuel recently stated that the party leadership was willing to making peace with the G-5 governors at a meeting with Gov. Samuel Ortom at the governor’s lodge in Akwa Ibom State.

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The schism has reached a stage where sacrifices must be made in order for there to be peace and triumph for the party, he said, adding that the governors have structures and capacity and should not be overlooked if the party wished to win smoothly.

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Recognizing the importance of unity in achieving any purpose, governor Emmanuel said, “We all came in as a family, whether you like it or not, these are brothers even in the parable of the lost sheep in the Bible only one sheep got missing and Jesus Christ left the rest and went after that one, how much more when you have brothers that are up to five

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“You turn around on a campaign platform you don’t see them suddenly you will feel you need them, these are people you started together, I think I still feel empty that we are all not together on a campaign platform

“Someone like me I am pursuing peace and I want peace to reign and once we can achieve that, our party will coast into victory.

“Governor Ortom made a statement and I am sure you listened to him. I agree one hundred percent with him. We are ready to make peace and I can assure our party that these are governors who have structures, and something to show, these are governors who have capacity. We will do everything possible to put the house together for the 2023 campaign.”

Gov. Samuel Ortom remarked that addressing the interests of the party’s stalwarts through dialogue remained essential. He added that the resentful governors never abandoned discussion and reconciliation when the conditions were suited to their needs.

“We have never said we have turned our back on dialogue and reconciliation, if the terms are met, why not, we will work if it fits in our own interest”, he added, insisting that disregarding them despite their respective huge support bases, was not the best solution.

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Before the G-5 flew to London to carefully select between Ahmed Tinubu and Peter Obi to endorse before the polls, hopes were high that resolution and reconciliation were under way shortly after the meeting, though it was reported that they were unable to come to an agreement on the candidate to choose.

Gov. Emmanuel paid a visit to Gov. Wike in Port Harcourt despite the G-5’s persistence.

Even though Gov. Emmanuel insisted that his visit to Wike was a brotherly one, it was obvious that his visit had something to do with the current problem.

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Emmanuel met with Wike in private for three hours, joined by the governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom.
The outcome of the meeting is still sketchy.

However, in a conversation with Dr. Harry Udoh, the head of the coalition of civil society organizations in Akwa Ibom State, he said that Udom’s visit to Wike would not benefit the party and that the governor’s efforts to promote peace were more motivated by personal reasons.

According to him, “I don’t see any positive outcome from Udom’s visit to Wike. There are those who think the visit has more to do with his personal interest than with reconciling Wike with Atiku.

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“Going by Wike’s utterances recently and his body language, it would seem like there is no love lost between the two, and Wike may not hold him at the level of regards that would enable him influence and sway Wike in any direction.”

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In addition, Otuekong Franklyn Isong, a public affairs analyst and pundit for the State, noted that Udom, as the party’s head of the presidential campaign council, had taken the proper move. He emphasized that “even the Bible says follow peace and promote peace with all mankind.”

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Even while it was a smart move on the governor’s part, he continued, it should be noted for him that he tried to reach an understanding but it was evident that Nyesom Wike would not back down unless Iyorchia Ayu resigned, which might not be possible.

Isong noted that even if Ayu resigns, the deputy national chairman from the North will still succeed him since, according to the PDP’s constitution, the deputy national chairman from the same zone as the former will take over.

He added that “even if Wike succeeds in making the office of the national chairman to be zoned to the South, what happens to the office of the National Secretary which is already in the South.”

He continued by saying that such issues were settled at the party conventions.

He advised Wike and his colleagues to either quit and stop the diversions or face the facts of the situation and work with their party’s resolution.

Isong argued that the governors, particularly those vying for the Senate, might not fare well in a split PDP in their respective States, and that those running for reelection should remain focused and refrain from siding with Wike, who has nothing to lose.

UPDATE: PDP Gives Gov Ayade Quit Notice

His words, “The aggrieved governors or the G-5 are saying that the national chairman should resign so that the office will come to the South. My question is, have they studied the constitution of the party? That the office of the National Secretary, Chairman and other key offices are zoned?

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“If you bring the national chairman from the South, what happens to the national Secretary that is from the South already? He should resign too? The PDP constitution says when the national chairman dies or resigns, the deputy national chairman from the zone the deceased comes from will replace him.

“It is a matter that should be resolved at the PDP convention and not two or three months to the election and election is one month away and there is no time to have the convention to ratify the offices.

“Wike saying that Atiku said if he wins, Ayu will resign is immaterial. Wike was simply being used by Ayu and Atiku to achieve what they wanted, they just played politics on him and told him what he wanted to hear at that moment.

“What he is asking for would only be resolved at the party’s convention. Wike should just be a good party man and work with his party or better still resign.

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“Personally, I envisage Wike not accepting the move by Governor Udom.”

Asked if the stand of the G-5 won’t affect PDP’s chances of victory, Isong said, “what will be will be, power belongs to God and He gives to whoever he wishes.”

 

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