Atiku, Okowa Move to Wade into Imo PDP Crisis

•Ayu calls for unity, voter mobilisation

Chuks Okocha in Abuja

Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar and his running mate, Ifeanyi Okowa, have been mandated by the party leadership to wade into the crisis plaguing the Imo State chapter of the party ahead of next year’s election.

This followed a meeting, yesterday, of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP with Imo stakeholders at the party’s national headquarters in Abuja.

The meeting, at the instance of the NWC, was called to resolve the brewing crisis in the state chapter of the party as well as reposition it for better electoral showing next year.

Lately, the newly constituted Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) at the state level has pitted some chieftains of the party against the State Working Committee (SWC) over charges of exclusion.

Among the decisions reached was that Atiku Okowa, would wade into the crisis, with a view to resolving the matter and other contending issues, comprehensively and amicably.

While Atiku would meet with a few party stakeholders from the state, including ex-governor Emeka Ihedioha and the PDP National Secretary, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, to soften the ground, Okowa would thereafter head a small panel that would reconcile all aggrieved parties and resolve all contending matters.

National Chairman of the party, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, who disclosed this after a well-attended meeting, regretted the loss of Imo to PDP via a controversial Supreme Court judgement, and pointed out that recovering Imo for the PDP was a priority to the present leadership of the party.

“Unity is crucial. And it’s only with unity that we can regain or recover Imo. And the route to that recovery is by winning the presidential election next February. Once we win the presidency next year, you will need to work less for the governorship victory.

“So, return home, close ranks and get to work. Our strength is in our unity. After elections in February, the NWC will give Imo closer attention. For now, focus on winning the presidency. Don’t dissipate energies on what is trivial or far away. Together, we are stronger.

“In Ekiti, we were disunited. And we lost. Disunity led to defeat. We had success in Osun, because we were united. It’s the same thing in Imo. If we refuse to unite, we will have the Ekiti debacle. But if we unite now, the Osun experience awaits us,” Ayu said.

All speakers at the meeting aired their grievances, but advised against allowing petty differences or personal ambitions to tear the party apart, and give the ruling APC undeserved longevity in the state.

Those at the meeting included Achike Udenwa (former Governor), Emeka Ihedioha (former Governor), Chief (Mrs.) Kema Chikwe (former Aviation Minister), Engr. Charles Ugwu (State PDP Chairman), Sen. Samuel Anyanwu (National Secretary), Chief Duru Ihioma (former State Chairman)Chief Uche Anyagocha (Senatorial Candidate), Chief Ray Emenma (State Secretary) and Hon. Chuma Nnaji, among others.

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