By Lami Ibrahim
Members of the G-5 Governors in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have reportedly commenced moves to replace the embattled suspended National Chairman of the party, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu.
The G-5 Governors, who include Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, Samuel Ortom of Benue, Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State and their leader, the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, worked against the Presidential candidate of the party, Atiku Abubakar.
This led Ayu to suspend those who worked against the party openly at the just-concluded presidential election.
Those suspended are former governors of Ekiti State and Katsina State, Ayodele Fayose and Ibrahim Shema, respectively, former senate president Anyim Pius Anyim, Prof Dennis Ityavyar, and Aslam Aliyu, while the PDP referred Ortom to the party’s National Disciplinary Committee over alleged anti-party activities.
But in what looks like a retaliatory action, the Igyorov ward also suspended Ayu over the same allegation last week.
Ayu initially dismissed the suspension, but he later stepped aside for Umar Damagum, Deputy National Chairman (North), when the State High Court in Makurdi stopped him from parading himself as the party’s National Chairman.
The acting chairman quickly reversed some of the suspensions imposed on key members by the Ayu-led NWC.
A source close to the Benue State government told National Watch on Saturday that the G-5 has proposed a national convention to elect a new chairman.
According to him, the group also informed the acting National Chairman of the plan to ensure Southwest gets the position.
He said, “Ayu is gone. Plans are on top gear to hold a national convention that will produce his successor. The truth is that Ayu is biting the fingers that fed him.
“If not for governor Ortom and Wike, who knew Ayu before? Even within the state he was not popular. They made him who he is today, but now he has turned against his helpers.
“He was busy suspending people because of so-called anti-party activities while he was the one guilty. Even members of APC testified that he worked for them, so who should be suspended?
“Ayu destroyed the party. Nigerians would have voted PDP during the presidential poll if the party had given its ticket to a Southerner.”
Speaking on the crisis rocking the party, a PDP chieftain, Aondoakaa Micheal, expressed optimism that the leadership crisis would soon end.
He told the publication: “All we need right now is reconciliation among members. Whatever happened before or during the election should be a thing of the past.
“The party needs to re-energize to tackle obstacles that may come in the future. Remember that some states have governorship elections this year. We also have cases in court. We need unity to win.
“When Secondus was removed, heaven didn’t fall, so even if the same thing happens to Ayu, the party will still move on, and if Ayu’s removal will restore the lost glory of the party, then why not.”