The meeting of the National Caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, failed to agree on the ouster of its beleaguered National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu after its meeting that ran till early morning of Thursday.
The large meeting which was attended by highly placed members of the party is very influential as it sets the tone for what takes effect in the party.
Those who attended the late night meeting were the Deputy National Chairman, Bode George; Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the party, Nnamadi Sambo, former Vice President; Ayu, Board of Trustees (BoT) Chairman, Walid Jibrin and former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara.
There were also former governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido; deputy governors of Edo and Adamawa states, Philip Shaibu and Kalatepwa Farauta; former governor of Kaduna State, Ahmed Makarfi; former Minister of Police Affairs, Maina Waziri; Governor of Sokoto, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal; Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri and Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed.
Also in the meeting were the National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Debo Ologunagba; Minority Leader, House of Representatives, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu; former Imo State governor, Emeka Ihedioha; and Stella Omu, among others.
The host governor, Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, failed to attend the meeting which held at the Akwa Ibom State Governors Lodge but his deputy attended.
Conspicuously missing were the governors loyal to Nyesom Wike, Rivers State Governor, including Wike himself, Sheyi Makinde of Oyo State, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, and the governor of Taraba State, Daruus Ishiaku.
It was not clear why the governor of Adamawa State, Ahmadu Fintiri, who was in town failed to attend the meeting but instead sent his deputy to represent him. The deputy governors of Edo and Benue represented their governors.
It was gathered the Caucus could not agree on the fate of Ayu, who was in attendance as it tactically shifted the decision to NEC, which holds later today.
But speaking after the meeting, Ologunagba said the issue of Ayu’s ouster was never discussed.
“We are ready to go. Members of the campaign council will be announced on Thursday (today), after the NEC meeting,” he said.
Explaining why most of the governors failed to attend the caucus meeting, Ologunagba added, “Some of them were on holiday, outside the country. They were represented by their deputies.”
It was gathered the plot to remove Ayu has divided the party into North and South.
The South, which is being spearhead by the Wike camp is allegedly led by Deputy National Chairman (South), Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja.
At its meeting at his residence last night, Arapaja group of the National Working Committee of the party, insisted that Ayu must go.
Protesters allegedly sponsored by his camp were seen with placards saying, ‘Ayu Must Go’, at the venue of the National Caucus meeting in the night.
The Arapaja’s group was countered by the Northern group led by the Deputy National Chairman (North), Umar Damagum. His group has also prefected plans to protect Ayu at today’s NEC meeting.
At the coming NEC meeting, it’s gathered two items will be listed for discussion, Ayu’s fate and composition of the party’s presidential campaign council as the start of campaign is less than 20 days away.
Wike, supported by loyal governors and highly placed members of the party and strong stakeholders, has insisted Ayu must go and is prepared to sponsor a vote of no confidence on him at the NEC meeting today.
He has said Ayu’s compromising leadership style by pandering to Atiku during the party’s presidential election and the entire headship of the party leadership positions can not work unless the party is ready to accept defeat in 2023 elections.