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*Why S-West is divided over Ayu—Source

*PDP‘s campaign council a pointer to victory —Group

*As ex-PDP Reps aspirants target 5m votes for Atiku/Okowa

By Dapo Akinrefon, Harris Emanuel & John Alechenu, UYO

GOVERNOR Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, who is chairman of the Presidential Campaign Council of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, urged warring parties in the party to sink their differences ahead of the general elections saying it would take collaborative efforts to win the polls.

The PDP has been engulfed in a crisis over the removal of its National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu.

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The party’s Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Governor Nyesom of Rivers State have been engaged in a feud over Ayu’s removal.

Recall that Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State and some PDP leaders in the South-West had called for Ayu’s resignation last week.

But the Publicity secretaries of Ondo, Osun, Ogun, Ekiti and Lagos, dissociated themselves from calls for the resignation of Dr Iyorchia Ayu.

The statement, signed by Hakeem Amode, Lagos, Kennedy Peretei, Ondo, Hon. Raphael ‘Wumi Adeyanju, Ekiti and Bankole Akinloye, Ogun, reads: “On behalf of the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) State Chapters in Ondo, Osun, Ogun, Ekiti and Lagos state we the Publicity Secretaries in these states respectively dissociate ourselves from calls for the resignation of Dr Iyorchia Ayu as PDP National Chairman.”

But indications, however, emerged that there may be a crack in South West PDP over alleged Makinde’s refusal to carry other leaders along on Ayu’s case.

Meanwhile, the Center for Support and Advocacy for Atiku Abubakar in Osun State, yesterday, expressed optimism that with the calibre, and experience of the members of the PDP 2023 Presidential Campaign Council, PCC, the party was on its way to victory in the forthcoming general elections.

PDP needs collaborative efforts to win 2023 polls—Gov Emmanuel

Speaking on his appointment as Chairman of the Atiku Abubakar’s Campaign Council, Governor Emmanuel urged PDP leaders and members to bury the hatchet and work together for the success of the party in the forthcoming general elections.

The governor thanked the leadership and members of PDP for finding him worthy to head the Campaign Council for the election and called on party members, at all levels, to work towards victory for the party.

His words: “Let me thank all our party members across the country for this confidence they have in me.

“I also want to say that no one person can do it alone. It involves everybody in all the units, all the wards and all chapters of our party to come together for the party to move forward.

“I want to use this platform to make an appeal that if we had made mistakes in the past we cannot wind back the clock.

“We cannot recall what had passed yesterday. We can move forward in the spirit of oneness, unity, prosperity and progress for our party, I’ll really appreciate it.”

On the expected outcome of the elections, the governor said: “The issue of the Campaign Council is a very simple matter; our own duty is to do the campaign and Nigerians to vote for us and then God to give the victory.”

Why S-West is divided over Ayu—Source

Following the calls for Ayu’s resignation by Governor Makinde and some South West PDP leaders, multiple sources, however, told Vanguard the Publicity secretaries in the zone were angry with the Oyo governor did not carry most of the party leaders along before taking the decision.

A source, familiar with the crisis, faulted Makinde’s refusal to consult with the governor-elect of Osun State, Senator Ademola Ademola, before calling for Ayu’s resignation.

Another source noted that the governor ought to have called for an enlarged meeting of the South West PDP before taking a position on the crisis rocking the party.

Speaking to Vanguard in confidence, a top PDP leader said: “It boils down to the leadership ability of Makinde. Even if Makinde is right, most leaders and members are ready to disagree with him because of his leadership style. He does not carry everybody along and they believe that before making such pronouncements, there should have been a South West PDP meeting where Ayu’s issue should have been debated and we take a collective position as the South West.

“But there was no meeting where he called us to a meeting. He believes he is the leader and that whatever he says is binding on all of us.

“For the fact that he didn’t work with us in Osun State PDP, where he allegedly work against Senator Ademola Adeleke’s victory shows there is hatred for him in the state till now. He didn’t come to Osogbo to congratulate the governor-elect. Now that we have a governor-elect, who will be sworn in soon, he (Makinde) cannot speak for all of us without any consultation with a governor-elect. “Makinde did not consult with the governor-elect before taking his decision. Even if he had a good case, he used his lack of consultation to spoil it.”

PDP‘s campaign council a pointer to victory —-Group

Meanwhile, the Center for Support and Advocacy for Atiku Abubakar, in Osun State, in a statement by its Coordinator, Mr Edward Olamilekan, noted that the combination of Governor Emmanuel, as Chairman, the National Campaign Management Council and Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, as Director-General will lead the PDP to the promised land.

Olamilekan said: “We believe and have much confidence in these topmost PDP stalwarts and with their experience, capabilities and prowess will definitely give us a huge success in February 2023.

“There is no doubt that the combination of leaders that made up of the committee is satisfactory and we are trusting God with the conglomeration of the citizen will lead us to our promised land.”

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