•Hints of possible move to another party
By Dapo Akinrefon & John Alechenu
Abuja—BARRING last minute changes, former Governor of Anambra State and presidential hopeful of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr Peter Obi, may have concluded plans to defect to the Social Democratic Party, SDP, weekend after resigning from the PDP.
He reportedly resigned from his Agulu Ward on May 20 and wrote to inform the National Chairman of the PDP on may 24.
A source privy to meetings held within Obi’s camp, the intrigues and high wire politicking going on in the PDP, told Vanguard that he may not eventually pick the party’s ticket, hence the activation of a plan B which is seeking refuge in the SDP.
The source disclosed that Dr Doyin Okupe, an ally of Mr Obi, led the team to the SDP secretariat to “discuss with the top leaders of the SDP with a view of crossing over to the party, this weekend.”
The details of the discussion, according to the source, cannot be put out at the moment as both parties (Obi camp and the SDP) are yet to complete the modalities leading to his crossing over.
“As of 2am yesterday, Doyin Okupe’s team was still discussing with one of the top members of the SDP,” the source said.“He also announced his withdrawal from the race for the party’s presidential ticket slated for May 28-29, 2022.“Director General of the Peter Obi Presidential Campaign Organisation, Dr. Doyin Okupe, made this public after submitting a copy of Obi’s resignation letter to the PDP National Secretariat, Abuja, yesterday.
“Okupe noted that his aspirant took the decision following recent happenings within the party.
Obi had in the letter titled: “Resignation From Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Withdrawal from the Presidential Contest,” which he addressed to the PDP National Chairman, Sen. Iyiochia Ayu, dated May 24, 2022, said he had already notified the party Chairman at the ward level.“
He wrote, “I am writing to intimate you of my resignation from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which was conveyed to the Chairman of Agulu Ward 2. Anaocha LGA Anambra, effective Friday 20 May, 2022. Consequently, I’m by this letter informing you of my withdrawal for the PDP Presidential Primaries.
“It has been a great honour to contribute to nation-building efforts through our party.. Unfortunately, recent developments within our party make it practically impossible to continue participating and making such constructive contributions.
“Our national challenges are deep-seated and require that we each make profound sacrifices towards rescuing our country. My commitment to rescuing Nigeria remains firm, even if the route differs.
“I wish to thank you personally for your graciousness and leadership. I wish you well and best of luck in the service of country.
“Although he gave no reason for his action, it was gathered that the decision of the national body to address the concerns of his supporters in Anambra State before the party’s delegate election was largely responsible.“
Obi and his supporters including a former National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Olisa Metuh, have been having running battles with loyalists of the Uba brothers in the Anambra State chapter.
“The National Working Committee of the party had tried unsuccessfully to find a middle ground. Only last week, the NWC met with about 40 stakeholders from the state.However, Metuh who spoke to reporters soon after the meeting accused the NWC of reluctance to respect a subsisting Court Order which recognized congresses conducted in February and March.Top SDP leader confirms meeting
A top leader of the party, who spoke to Vanguard in confidence, confirmed the meeting with Peter Obi’s camp.
“I can confirm that some people from the Peter Obi camp have been talking to us. He will not be the presidential hopeful from another party that has been talking to us in the last two months.
In the month of March, we have had one or two presidential hopefuls who met with us. In May, we have had two of the presidential hopefuls that have been talking to us in terms of joining the party. You have to join the party before you talk of the ticket.”