Mr Wike’s group is demanding Mr Ayu’s resignation in order to achieve a “regional balance” in the PDP, since both the chairman and Atiku are from the north.
A group of PDP members, led by the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has reportedly withdrawn participation in the presidential campaign committee of the party for the 2023 elections.
The group’s position was disclosed by a former Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, Olabode George, after hours of meeting, which started Tuesday evening and ended Wednesday morning, according to a report by Channels television.
The meeting, which held at the private residence of Mr Wike in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, came less than a week after the party appointed some members of the group into Atiku’s presidential campaign committee.
Some members of the group include Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, who was named as the Vice Chairman (South) of the same committee.
But the group leader, Mr Wike, was named a member of the committee.
Party members who attended the meeting are Mr Makinde, former Governors Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo, Ayo Fayose of Ekiti, Donald Duke of Cross River, Ibrahim Dakwambo of Gombe, and Jonah Jang of Plateau, and a former Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke.
Others are a former Information Minister, Jerry Gana, South-south Chairman of the PDP, Dan Orbih, a former deputy Speaker of the House Representative, Chibudom Nwuche among others.
Members of the group vowed not to participate in the campaign committee in whatever capacity except the party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, leaves his position for a southerner.
The party has been enmeshed in leadership crisis after the presidential primary of the party where Atiku floored Mr Wike and other aspirants in the race to emerge the party’s presidential candidate.
Mr Wike’s group is demanding the resignation of the national chairman but Mr Ayu has insisted he was elected for a four year term.
The governors are calling for Mr Ayu’s resignation to achieve a “regional balance”, since the party chairman and Mr Atiku are both from the north.
Already, the party’s Chairman of Board of Trustees (BoT), Walid Jibrin, who is also from Nasarawa State in the North, resigned.
The Deputy Chairman, Adolphus Wabara, a former senate president from Abia State in the South-east is acting as the BoT chairman.
However, the Wike’s camp is not impressed with with Mr Jibrin’s resignation, insisting it is Mr Ayu who should vacate his position.
The PDP is yet to respond to the latest decision by the its members loyal to the Rivers governor to back out from Atiku’s campaign.
The party’s spokesperson, Debo Ologunagba, could be reached for comments.
Both Messrs Atiku and Ayu are currently outside Nigeria.