…BoT to reconvene, discuss outcome, suggest way forward to party
…Party begins presidential campaign Oct 10, in Uyo
…New twist in housing allowance saga, as Ayu’s aides reject letters
By Egufe Yafugborhi & John Alechenu
AFTER four hours of meeting with Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, yesterday, Acting Chairman of the Board of Trustees, BoT, of the People Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Adolphus Wabara said an end to the crisis in the party is in sight.
The BoT team led by Wabara met behind closed doors with the Rivers State governor and Rivers PDP chieftains in his Port Harcourt home in the absence of the four PDP governors, who are allies of Wike.
The parley was held as the party scheduled its first presidential campaign rally for Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital on October 10.
Meanwhile, a twist has emerged in the housing allowance saga in the National Working Committee, NWC, as aides of the National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, rejected letters of refund of the allowance from some members of the NWC, yesterday.
PDP remains one, we’re hopeful – Wabara, Wike
Emerging from the parley with Wike, Wabara said: “This meeting took about four hours. We have not concluded. It’s always easy to destroy but to make peace takes some time. I think we are better informed, gotten some information. We have been briefed by his Excellency (Wike). So, we will go back to Abuja to re-digest all we gathered from him; very frank talks. One good thing is that this family remains one, still under the umbrella called PDP.
“By the special grace of God, we will end up victorious and end up at the Villa in 2023 with his (Wike’s) cooperation and the support of all the other governors: four of them. No doubt we will make progress.
“In concrete terms, it’s work in progress. This is the first time the BoT is coming to see his Excellency and for your information he is also a member. We rubbed minds. We will find a solution to all the problems, very soon.
PDP united for the coming electoral war — Wike
Also speaking, Wike said: “To add to what the BoT acting chairman has said, peace is the most important thing to have unity. Even if it takes you longer days, what is important is that the house is united for the war coming ahead.
“So, the issue of whether they achieve peace today or not is immaterial. What matters is that at the end of the day, PDP is a united house. I think that is the message being conveyed.
“We have said repeatedly that we are not leaving the party, but that does not mean there are no internal issues that ought to be sorted out. I think what they are here for is to sort out some internal issues. That point has been made.
Uyo to host campaign flag-off October 10
As the party seeks solution to the complaints of the Wike camp, it has scheduled Monday, October 10, 2022 for the official flag off of its 2023 presidential campaign.
The event will be held in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State Capital, Director General of the PDP Presidential Campaign Management Committee and Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, announced after inspecting the Atiku Campaign Office, in Abuja, yesterday.
He said: “We are pleased to report to you and indeed Nigerians that the campaign is ready to move. By the grace of God, we are flagging off the campaign this Monday, October 10, at Uyo Akwa Ibom State.
“Atiku (Abubakar, PDP presidential candidate) is very well prepared to provide the required leadership for this country at this time. He has the experience in governance at the federal level, which I believe none of the rest of the candidates can match.
Crisis’ll soon be over
Responding to a question on the decision of five aggrieved governors to steer clear of the campaign unless the party’s National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu resigns, Tambuwual expressed optimism that the disagreement will soon be resolved.
“We’re not involved in a war of attrition. It is a political disagreement and we’re working to resolve all of those issues,” he said and debunked claims that the party’s popularity has nose-dived in the South-East because of the party’s perceived injustice against the zone.
Speaking in a similar vein, a Spokesperson for the campaign, Charles Aniagwu, who appeared on an AIT television Political Programme, Kakaki, also on Tuesday said everything humanly possible is being done to ensure reconciliation.
He said that having inaugurated its Campaign Council, the party would flag-off its campaign on Monday in Uyo, the Akwa-Ibom state capital.
According to him, the party’s Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, his running mate, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa and other leaders of the party are working hard to resolve all contending issues to enable it present a common front ahead of the 2023 general elections; “be rest assured that in not too distant time, you will see a very peaceful PDP.”
New twist in housing allowance saga, as Ayu’s aides reject letters
Meanwhile, the last is yet to be heard about the refund of over N150million housing allowance by six members of the NWC of the party.
Staff of the National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, yesterday, rejected copies of the widely publicized letters returning various sums ranging from N28.8 million to N36 million representing three years housing allowances of NWC members.
Vanguard gathered that the letters written by the Deputy National Chairman (South) Taofeek Arapaja; National Vice Chairman (South South), Dan Orbih; National Vice Chairman (South West) and National Women Leader, Prof. Stella Affah-Attoe, last week, were only taken to the National Chairman’s office yesterday morning.
In their separate letters the party officers returned the various sums arguing that the payments were suspicious. While Arapaja got N36 million of the said money transferred into his bank account, the three others got N28.8 million each.
A source in the party’s National Secretariat told Vanguard: “Arapaja and the National Woman’s leader’s letters in which they said they were returning their housing allowance which they shared on social media last week were just brought to the office this morning (Tuesday).
“Arapaja’s letter, which was written on PDP’s letter-headed paper, was sent via courier. The man is still here.
“That’s what he could have sent through his secretary, if mischief was not intended. They had lied that they submitted their letters to the chairman. It’s today they are struggling to. How can the chairman receive letters from his colleagues via courier?”