Seven members of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party have just arrived at the Government House in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
Amongst them are PDP BoT Acting Chairman, Adolphus Wabara, and a former Governor of Kogi State, Ibrahim Idris.
They are presently meeting with Governor Nyesom Wike in the state capital.
The emergency meeting convened by the Wabara-led BoT is part of efforts by the main opposition party to pacify Wike and some aggrieved southern governors in the party.
The BoT delegation also aims to convince Wike and his allies to support the 2023 presidential ambition of the party’s flag bearer, Atiku Abubakar, as campaigns for next February’s polls officially commence.
Wike and some PDP governors including Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Seyi Makinde, (Oyo), and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) have for weeks mounted pressure on the party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, to step down for a southerner.
Earlier, the PDP BoT members on Sunday met with Atiku and his running mate, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State.
Wike and his allies had on September 20 announced their withdrawal from Atiku’s presidential campaign council.
They were also absent from the inauguration of Atiku’s campaign council on September 28, 2022 as they argued that northerners should not occupy the two top positions of the party.
Others in Wike’s camp include former Governors Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo, Ayo Fayose of Ekiti, Donald Duke of Cross River, Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe and Jonah Jang of Plateau.
Others are elder statesmen, Olabode George, Jerry Gana; South-South Chairman of the PDP, Dan Orbih; former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chibudom Nwuche; Senator Suleiman Nazif, Nnenna Ukeje.
For months, Wike and his allies have continued to call for Ayu’s resignation after Atiku (from Adamawa State) trounced the Rivers State governor at the PDP primary in May and emerged the presidential candidate of the party.
Wike and his loyalists have argued that northerners cannot hold the two most important posts in the main opposition party.
Ayu, who hails from Benue State also in northern Nigeria, had in October 2021 said he would vacate the chairmanship seat if the region produces the PDP presidential candidate.
However, the chairman said he won’t resign and will be in office till the end of his four-year tenure.
Earlier, then-PDP Board of Trustees Chairman, Walid Jibrin, and a northerner from Nasarawa State agreed that it is unfair for the party to have its presidential candidate and national chairman from the same region.
Jibrin had weeks back resigned amid the crisis and PDP BoT had subsequently announced Wabara (from Abia State), as acting BoT chairman of the party but Wike’s camp insisted that Ayu must go.