The Tussle Of Make Or Break In PDP - Will It Survive?


While many are looking forward to who will emerge winner of the next President of Nigeria next year, It won't be out of the thinking to ask if PDP will actually be a true contender. 

The once upon a time titan of NIGERIA ruling party seem to be rocked with problems of TRUST.

What Happened? 

Presidential primary election was around the corner, the south were clamoring for their turn and it was said that the ticket should go to a southern candidate. But some how, Atiku a northerner and every other region were allowed to join the contest. Wike, Atiku and Tambuwal were the favorite, but it was reported that the national chairman - Senator Iyorchia Ayu, alongside Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, lobbied Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State to drop his candidacy which eventually helped the chances of Atiku to win the contest.

After the primary election, the national chairman -Ayu, hailed Tambuwal, describing him as “a hero of democracy.” With wike and supporters still healing and trying to digest the drama of the defeat, that statement from a chairman who is supposed to be a neutral umpire unleash the anger in Wike, his supporters and many PDP members till today.

As if that was not enough, Atiku went ahead to pick Delta State Governor - Ifeanyi Okowa as his running mate despite the advice of a committee to choose Wike which was ignored according to Benue State Governor - Samuel Ortom.

With Campaign period closer and the PDP realizing how important Wike could be, they are trying to see how to bring him back to the fold so as not to loose him to APC who have been trying to woo him.

Wike on his part is not ready to leave PDP for APC. Maybe not prepared to start from the scratch, or maybe with Rotimi Amaechi still in APC. Wike is only ready to start any discussion with PDP only if Ayu the national chairman is out of the way.

The Wike stand is seen as a threat and was dismissed, but with many sharing the same feeling, there was an emergency "staged" meeting to partake in a vote of confidence for Ayu. The vote was done and it favor Ayu to continue the leadership. Wike was in no mood to get relaxed with the vote of confidence given to Ayu, as he stated that: "If you like you can have as many as 20 votes of confidence, it’s not my business. My business is to make sure the right thing is done, and the right thing must be done whether today or tomorrow.”   

Receiving defectors from the All Progressives Congress (APC) into the PDP in Port Harcourt yesterday, Wike said the vote of confidence passed in Ayu would not stop him and others from insisting that the prevailing structural imbalance in the party must be addressed.

Spokesman of the Atiku campaign organization, Mr. Charles Aniagwu said the PDP would be thrown into a constitutional crisis if Ayu were to leave now.

Also speaking on the PDP crisis, Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde said he did not see how the party could restructure Nigeria when it could not restructure itself.

Governor Makinde insisted that one of the conditions to restructure the party was for Ayu to resign, explaining that the presidential candidate, Atiku is from the north while Ayu is also from the north.

“We must speak the truth. The truth is that we don’t have any issue either with the party or the candidate.

“We don’t have any issue with the PDP. This is not about an individual. Those are the issues that are behind us, it has happened, it has happened.

“The issue is that we must restructure Nigeria if we want unity in Nigeria. But, we must restructure PDP itself before we restructure Nigeria. If we want to restructure Nigeria, do we have the capacity, the answer is yes. But, the South West PDP is asking the PDP chairman to resign.” 

Atiku response on his visit to Oyo State after the statement of the State governor shows that he is not thinking of Ayu’s resignation despite demands for it.

Atiku said, “only if the PDP constitution is amended.

“The calls for the resignation of the national chairman or any national officer can only be achieved through the party’s constitution.

“The party’s constitution can only be amended. It is possible.

“When I was the Vice President, we took over South West except Lagos state. I don’t want us to lose focus, the focus is on how to win the 2023 elections. I know that we are capable, we can do that.”

The questions are: 

  • What will happen if Ayu remains in power till 2023 with Wike and South West (PDP) demanding his resignation?
  • Is Atiku afraid that a new chairman could jeopardize his chances of wining or even retaining the PDP flag bearer?
  • How will PDP stand a chance if major stake holders decide not to support Atiku except Ayu resigns?
  • Will this not bring out a faction in the party that will give the ruling party an easy ride for 2023?
  • What deal-breaker will be needed to make PDP Strong and United Again?