Udom Emmanuel, Tambuwal Move to Resolve PDP Crisis

*NWC begins reconciliatory talks, meets Ikpeazu, Makinde, Ugwuanyi*Bode George denies ambition to succeed Ayu 

Gboyega Akinsanmi in Lagos, Chuks Okocha in Abuja and Okon Bassey in Uyo

As part of the renewed efforts to ensure a united party ahead of the September 28, 2022 date for the commencement of campaigns, the Chairman of the Presidential Campaign Organisation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Akwa Ibom State governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, as well as the Director General of the organisation and Governor of Sokoto State, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, have moved to resolve the crisis in the party, THISDAY has learnt.

Emmanuel and Tambuwal were on Thursday unveiled as the chairman and director general of the campaign organisation, respectively.
THISDAY gathered that Emmanuel yesterday commenced reconciliatory talks with a meeting he held with the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party.
In his capacity as the director-general of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, Tambuwal is expected to use his position to mobilise the governors to achieve peace and unity in the party.

The NWC of the main opposition party will also meet Governors Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, Seyi Makinde of Oyo State and other aggrieved stakeholders who are rooting for the resignation of the National Chairman of the party, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu.

Governor Emmanuel has also stressed the need for genuine reconciliation with Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and other feuding members of the party for them to bury the hatchet and work together for the success of the party in the 2023 general election.

A former Deputy National Chairman of the party, Chief Olabode George, has however denied nursing any ambition to succeed Ayu.
THISDAY gathered that Ayu’s trip to Europe was hurriedly planned to ensure his absence during the reconciliatory talks and save him from any embarrassment during the visit of the NWC to the aggrieved members.

Sources close to the NWC told THISDAY that the National Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Samuel Anyanwu led a team of NWC to see Emmanuel.
The NWC had earlier set up a committee to interface with some aggrieved governors of the party over the continued stay of Ayu as the national chairman.
An insider at the meeting told THISDAY that the outcome of the meeting was fruitful as the governor accepted his appointment as the chairman of the presidential campaign organisation.

The source added that the NWC committee has scheduled to meet the Enugu State governor, Ugwuanyi and the Abia State governor, Ikpeazu within the week, while Makinde would also be visited later.

The source also told THISDAY that when the presidential candidate of the party, Atiku Abubakar, was scheduled to meet Makinde and other members in Ibadan, Oyo State, it was agreed that Ayu should leave the country so that his presence would not endanger the peace talks.

“Since the crisis is revolving around him, it was agreed that he should take a vacation to give peace a chance and see how far we can go,” the source added.
Meanwhile, Governor Emmanuel has stressed the need for genuine reconciliation with Wike and other feuding members of the party for them to bury the hatchet and work together for the success of the party in the 2023 general election.

Emmanuel, who expressed delight and gratitude to the PDP over his appointment as Chairman of the Atiku Abubakar Campaign Council, said it was time to forge a united front to reclaim the centre for the main opposition party in 2023.

Fielding questions from journalists upon his arrival at Victor Attah International Airport in Uyo, from Abuja at the weekend, Emmanuel thanked the leadership and members of PDP for finding him worthy to head the Atiku Presidential Campaign Council, noting that he could only deliver on the mandate through a holistic action plan.

He extended his hands of fellowship to Wike, and other aggrieved members to be in the vanguard of ousting the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) at the centre and returning the PDP to power in 2023.
“Let me thank all our party members across the country for this confidence they have in me.
“I also want to say that no one person can do it alone. It involves everybody in all the units, all the wards and all chapters of our party to come together for the party to move forward.

“I want to use this platform to appeal that if we had made mistakes in the past, we cannot turn back the clock.
“We cannot recall what had passed yesterday. We can move forward in the spirit of oneness, unity, prosperity and progress for our party, and I will appreciate it,” he added.

 In a related development, a former Deputy National Chairman of the party, George has denied nursing any ambition to succeed Ayu.
It was alleged that the Wike camp had started preparing for the 2027 general election, and was plotting aggressively to take control of the PDP’s NWC to realise its plan.
George, who is one of the leading voices seeking Ayu’s removal in the South, was said to have been pencilled “to replace the national chairman of the party provided they succeed in forcing Ayu to resign from the office.”

But in an interview with THISDAY, George pointed out that he had already made public his plan to disengage from partisan politics by May 2023.
He said: “I spent 25 years in the military. By next year, I will be 25 years in politics. It means I have put 50 years of my life into public service. I will be 78 years old in 2023. What else am I looking for at this age and after all I have been in this country?

“People are so dishonest. Such positions no longer entice me. I am a true Christian. I do not subscribe to all their political intrigues. It is an absolute thrash. That is the level they are and it is difficult for them to see things the way they are.

“I am simply concerned about the future of the PDP.  In all modesty, I am a founding member of the party. I am crying out now because of Nigeria. If anything happens now, it will affect everyone irrespective of class and status.

“At 78, I will be plotting to be the national chairman of the PDP for what purpose again? Even though God has blessed me with sound health, it no longer makes sense for me to start scheming to be the national chairman at the age of 78,” he explained.

Related Articles