PDP in disarray as crisis over Atiku’s selection of Okowa worsens

Only two out of 13 governors of the party were present at the inauguration of the PDP campaign council for the upcoming governorship election in Osun State yesterday.

PDP in disarray as Atiku Abubakar's choice of VP causes problems for the party. (Punch)

Earlier in June, the Presidential candidate of the party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar picked Okowa as his running mate against the recommendation of the committee set up to recommend a Vice Presidential candidate for him.

The committee according to multiple reports recommended Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State as Atiku’s running mate but the former Vice President decided to go for Okowa.

The development thereafter generated acrimony and disagreement among party leaders as some of them called for the removal of the national chairman of the party, Dr Iyorchia Ayu.

On Wednesday, June 29, 2022, there were speculations that Ayu has been removed and that Deputy National Chairman (North), Amb. Umar Damagum, has been appointed as acting national chairman of the party.

In a swift reaction, Ayu through his Special Adviser, Simon Imobo-Tswam, said he is still in charge, adding that the report on his removal was mischievous.

Dr Ayu took a well-deserved, two-week leave on 21st June 2022. He will be back next week to resume duties, specifically on July 6, 2022.

“The general public is, therefore, advised to ignore the mischievous social media publications as they are purely the work of mischief-makers and idle minds,” Imobo-Tswam said.

Despite the denial, the presence of only two out of 13 governors of the party at the inauguration of the PDP campaign council for the upcoming governorship election in Osun State yesterday showed that all is not well with the party.

Only Governors Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta and Darius Ishaku of Taraba state were present at the inauguration.

Again, during his interview on Arise TV on Wednesday, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State called out the opposition party for allegedly betraying Wike.

Ortom said he was among the 17-member committee set up by Atiku to recommend a running mate for him.

“Fourteen of us in the committee said the person should be Nyesom Wike unfortunately Atiku picked Okowa in his wisdom,” he said.

The governor said Atiku, whose campaign promise is hinged on uniting Nigerians is not doing enough to bring his party members together.

“You cannot ignore a decision of a committee you set up yourself and expect people to be happy,” Ortom said.

Hours after Ortom’s interview, former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose took to Twitter to go against the PDP’s presidential candidate. In his tweet, Fayose expressed his support for the southern presidency.

The former governor also used the ‘it’s my turn’ mantra which is politically associated with the campaign of the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu.

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