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Crisis Rocks PDP As Govs Boycott Osun Campaign Committee Inauguration

The post-Convention crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took another twist on Wednesday as most governors elected on the platform of the party boycotted the inauguration of the Gubernatorial National Campaign Council for Osun State.

DIPLOMATIC DIARY reports that the PDP had named a 128-member national campaign council, which included 12 governors.

But at the inauguration on Wednesday 11 of the PDP governors were absent including the Bayelsa State governor Douye Diri who was named as Chairman of the Campaign Council, as well as his counterpart in Rivers State,  Nyesom Wike.

Governors Seyi Makinde, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, Emmanuel Udom, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Darius Ishaku, Samuel Ortom, Godwin Obaseki, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri and Bala Mohammed were among the 128 committee members but  were all absent at the inauguration.

Only the vice presidential candidate of the party and Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa and Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba were present at the event.

Okowa is not a member of the council but was there apparently as the vice presidential candidate of the party.

The National Chairman Dr. Iyorchia Ayu was also absent, but a statement by his Special Assistant on Communication and Strategy, Simon Imobo-Tswam, said Ayu was on a two-week leave.

Crisis had hit the PDP following the choice of Okowa as running mate to the party’s presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar.

Most of the governors were not happy with the decision because his Rivers State counterpart, Nyesom Wike was reportedly recommended to him by the committees set up by the party to shortlist a running mate for him.

Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom, said on a national television programme that he was among the 17-member committee set up by Atiku “and 14 of us in the committee said the person should be Wike.

“Unfortunately, Atiku picked Okowa – that is his wisdom. You cannot ignore the decision of a committee you set up by yourself and expect people to be happy. For now, I have gone into hibernation”, Ortom said.

Also on Wednesday, former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, restated his calls for a southern presidential candidate for the party. 

Fayose, who contested and lost the PDP presidential primary election in May, claimed that based on provisions of the party’s constitution, it ought to field a southern candidate in 2023 and not Atiku who hails from the northern region.

“The current President of Nigeria is a 2-term Northern Presidency, thus implying that it MUST be a Southern Presidency in 2023 or NOTHING. Awa ‘South’ lo kan’. Nigerians should await details soon

“The PDP Constitution provides for a rotational Presidency. Section 3(c) provides that the Party shall pursue its aims and objectives by “adhering to the policy of the rotation and zoning of Party and Public elective offices in pursuance of the principle of equity, justice, and fairness”, the former governor tweeted.

However, at the inauguration of the  Campaign council in Abuja, Acting National Chairman of  the Party, Amb. Umar Damagun,  charged members of the Committee to go to all the nook and cranny of Osun state to canvass  for votes for the party’s governorship candidate  Sen. Ademola Adeleke.

Damagun urged the committee to ensure that they settle all rifts among party members in the state ahead of the July 16 governorship election to ensure that the party embarks on the journey as a united family.

He expressed confidence in the caliber of people that have been selected to steer this campaign committee and advised them to engage stakeholders in Osun. 

His words: “Go to every corner, we have a very popular candidate in Osun and we have no reason not to win the election.

“So I believe Osun will become ours, you will make a lot of sacrifices for the task ahead of you, engage stakeholders that are aggrieved. If it is possible, break yourself into smaller committees to reach out to all and sundry, just make sure you give all it takes to win this election.”

On his part, Delta State governor and vice presidential candidate of PDP, Ifeanyi  Okowa said the campaign council has great strength enough to truly deliver the party at the polls on July 16th.

“We are very much aware of the events that took place four years ago. There is no doubt that PDP won that election but unfortunately, we were cheated out of the election. As we move into another election, we are confident that if all of us, all of us stay committed to the party, that we will be able to deliver the victory for our party.

“Osun State obviously is a PDP state. We have great leaders who have a very clear understanding of the politics in that states. I want to urge all our leaders and our followers in the state to please quickly bridge the gaps of divide that is amongst us, because victory stares us right in the face, God has gone ahead of us. It is for us to follow the wish of God and to deliver the state to the PDP.

“There is a lot of work to be done. It is not a fun fare. I want to make an appeal to the campaign council. It’s not about been inaugurated in Abuja. The work to be done is in Osun State.

“And I want to plead with them to ensure that they go out there to Osun State, work with the leadership of the party and work with the candidate of the party to ensure that everything is put in place to deliver the PDP in that election”, he said.

Okowa promised that he and the party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, will participate in the Osun State election campaign.

Speaking on the desirability of Nigerians to have a PDP government come 2023, Okowa said, “I believe nobody wants Nigeria to continue the way it is today. The very, very difficult times that we are in has been brought to us by the bad governance of the APC government.

“We believe that we are able to redeem Nigeria, rescue it and begin a process of rebuilding this nation. Yes, we were in office and made some mistakes. We have learnt our lessons; we have apologized to Nigerians. We’re coming back as a rebranded PDP and we are going to entrench democracy.”

Manuels Effe


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