Atiku-Wike Feud: PDP considers South-West for Ayu’s replacement

Tinubu meets Wike, Makinde, Ortom in London  

There are strong indications that some leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are pushing for the replacement of Dr. Iyorchia Ayu as the party’s National Chairman with a South-West person, following the call for his resignation.

A source privy to the development, who confirmed the party move to newsmen, said that the issue is yet to be decided, but said stakeholders have begun to consider some South-West candidates as a possible replacement, adding that the consensus opinion of members is that Ayu should go.

It was also gathered that the embattled Ayu may yield to pressures to quit his position as the main opposition National Chair in order to pave the way for the party’s victory ahead of the 2023 general elections. According to the source, party stalwarts are considering whether to empower the National Vice-Chairman (South), Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja, to act as the National Chairman pending a mid-term convention, or draft former Ondo State governor, Olusegun Mimiko, who is known to be an ally of Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike.

This position, however, poses its own problem, as using the party’s Constitution to resolve this matter may yield nothing, because if Ayu were to go, Ambassador Umar Iliya Damagun, Deputy National Chairman (North), will be the one to step in until a convention is held to properly constitute another executive, according to Section 45 (I and II) of the party’s Constitution.

In a related development, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, reportedly met with Governor Nyesom Wike, of Rivers State, in London, United Kingdom. 

According to a source privy to the meeting, Tinubu met Wike alongside Governor Samuel Ortom, of Benue State, and Governor Seyi Makinde, of Oyo State, who have been close allies of Wike. The governors on the platform of the PDP, it was learnt, left Nigeria to meet with Tinubu on Monday night. Although details of the meeting were yet to be ascertained, it may not be unconnected with a potential alliance of Wike to cede support for Tinubu in the 2023 presidential election.

Wike has been widely speculated to leave the PDP, following his fallout with Abubakar Atiku, who defeated Wike to clinch the PDP ticket in May. Since Wike lost PDP presidential primaries to Atiku he has been heaping jibes and jeers to Atiku and other top ranking members of the party.

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