North Central PDP to Announce Ayu’s Replacement, Asks Damagum to Return to Position

North Central PDP to Announce Ayu’s Replacement, Asks Damagum to Return to Position

•Mutfwang tasks elders on party’s unity

Seriki Adinoyi in Jos and Segun James

As part of efforts to get the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) back in shape ahead of the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting slated for April 18, 2024, the North Central Caucus has concluded plans to present a replacement that would serve out the term of the former PDP National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu.

This was as the Plateau State Governor, Caleb Mutfwang, has urged elders of the party in the state to uphold its values and contribute to promoting peaceful coexistence, unity, tolerance, and cooperation within the party.

The PDP National Working Committee (NWC) has fixed the NEC meeting for Thursday, April 18, 2024, after a national caucus meeting slated for Wednesday.

Whereas the position of the national chairman of the party is allotted to the North Central, the Deputy National Chairman, (North) Amb. Illiya Damagum from Yobe State, North East zone, has been acting as National Chairman for over a year.

THISDAY gathered that there have been calls on the Damagum-led NWC to approve a substantive National Chairman from the zone.

Party leaders from the North Central were said to have held a crucial meeting in Abuja last week where they reportedly insisted that a substantive National Chairman, should without further delay, emerge from the North Central while Damagum should revert to his original position as Deputy National Chairman in line with the provision of the Constitution of the PDP.

The meeting, which had in attendance members of the PDP North Central Zonal Executive Committee and respective State Chairmen of the party from the six states of the zone and Federal Capital Territory (FCT), insisted on producing a replacement for  Damagum.

A source at the meeting hinted that the leaders mandated Muftwang, to convene a decisive meeting of the Zonal Caucus that would come up with the nomination for the party’s substantive National Chairman from the North Central Zone.

“With the exit of the former National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, our zone was expected to produce a successor, but this was delayed. The National Chairmanship is zoned to the North Central, and the PDP Constitution provides that a successor must come from the North Central. So the Constitution should be followed.

“We have held a series of meetings on the issue. This was also the reason State Chairmen from the North Central met in Abuja on last Wednesday. We are unanimous in seeking a credible nomination. I can confirm to you that names are being discussed; we are narrowing our selection and stakeholders will reach a conclusion on their choice before the April 18 meeting.

“We have mandated the governor (Muftwang) that he should call a caucus meeting of our zone to enable us to come up with a replacement to take the mantle from Ambassador Damagum.

“We have raised this with Governor Muftwang in our meeting. The Constitution of our party needs to be followed so that our Zone (North Central) can serve out its term. The position is for the North Central and we insist on taking back our position at the NEC meeting,” the source said.

However, the Plateau governor at a breakfast meeting with stakeholders and members of the party’s Elders’ Forum at his residence at the old Government House in Little Rayfield, Jos, sought unity.

He emphasised the importance of wise guidance and counsel from the elders in ensuring the party’s stability and respecting the popular wishes of the people, especially at the grassroots level.

Speaking on the upcoming congresses to elect party officials, Mutfwang cautioned against actions that could lead to conflicts within the party and stressed the need for inclusivity and consensus-building.

“PDP belongs to the people of Plateau; it is a platform they have identified with since 1999. It is imperative to have the body of elders functioning, as their wisdom is invaluable in guiding the party.”

While assuring the people that the party would soon commence the congress process, the governor urged the elders to demonstrate leadership and provide good counsel for peace to prevail.

Chairman of the PDP Elders’ Forum, Chief Raymond Dabo, expressed gratitude to the Governor for the leadership he has shown and reiterated the elders’ commitment to supporting the party.

In attendance were former governor Jonah Jang, and Amb. Yahaya Kwande as well as former Ministers and stalwarts of the party.

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