PDP Crisis: Ayu Steps Down as Party Chair

Iyorchia Ayu

The crisis of leadership in the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP may have reached a boiling point. Following a court order asking Senator Iyorchia Ayu, erstwhile national chairman of the party to stop parading himself as the chairman of the party, the party has asked Iliya Damagun, the deputy national chairman to step into the office in acting capacity. Just as some of the members disagreed on the decision to have Damagun take control of the leadership of the party, the man in the middle of the crisis decided to throw in the towel.

The position of Ayu in the party became an issue after Atiku Abubakar, former vice president and presidential candidate of the PDP emerged during the party primaries last year. The argument of some party leaders in the south was that it was incongruous for the candidate of the party to come from the north while the chairman who is also from the north retains his seat.

It was one major condition given of a group of five governors, otherwise known as G5, led by Nyesom Wike of Rivers State for them to support the campaign of Abubakar for the election. Ayu had said at a meeting where the ticket of the party was thrown open to all, following the failure of the lobby for it to be zoned to the south, that in the event that a northerner wins the ticket, he would step down as chairman of the party, according to him, “if party members asked me to step down”. That was the pledge that Wike’s group and some other party leaders held onto before the general election.

The enthronement of Damagun on Tuesday became necessary after a court in Benue State ruled that Ayu, who is also from Benue, should stop parading himself as the chairman of the party.

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