Stalemate In PDP, As Wike, 4 Other Agrieved Governors Form New Group, Tackle Atiku

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The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has taken a new dimension as the G-5 governors and other aggrieved leaders of the party have formed a new group known as Integrity Group (IG).

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The IG comprises the G-5 governors and other prominent leaders of the party pushing for the resignation of the party’s National Chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu.

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The aggrieved party leaders met in Lagos yesterday, saying they stand by their earlier decision in Port Harcourt not to be part of the campaign of the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, but restated that they remained open to reconciliation.

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The meeting behind closed doors held at a popular hotel at the instance of a former Deputy National Chairman of the party, Chief Olabode George, had in attendance all the G-5 governors: Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu).

Also, former Governors Ayo Fayose (Ekiti), Donald Duke (Cross River), Jonah Jang (Plateau); Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja; Chief Dan Orbih; Senators Olaka Nwogu, Mao Ohuanbunwa, S.O Onor and Nazif Suleiman and a former minister, Bello Adoke, were in attendance.

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Other PDP leaders at the meeting were Lagos PDP leaders loyal to Bode George, including a former Deputy Governor, Chief (Mrs) Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele; a former National Secretary, Dr Remi Akintoye; Chief (Mrs) Onkepo Oshodi and 20 LG chairmen of the PDP.

After about four hours of deliberations, the G-5 and their backers said they stood on the same decision taken at their last meeting in Port Harcourt.

A former Governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang, who briefed newsmen after the meeting, said, “We have reviewed the issues in our party and we, therefore, stand on the position we took at our last meeting in Port Harcourt and we hereby reiterate our position that the window for reconciliation in our great party, the PDP, remains open.”

Speaking on the new group, Makinde said, “We are here to hold a meeting of the Integrity Group within our party, the PDP. You have been hearing of the G-5; that is the five PDP governors. The G-5 is all about the Integrity Group. You can see us, five serving governors, as the face of this struggle, but the leaders and elders of the party that you see here are the people behind those faces.”

Bode George, who read the communique at the end of the meeting, said, “The published presidential campaign council list translates to putting the cart before the horse. The pertinent issue remains the Ayu leadership.

“We, therefore, resolve that Senator Iyorchia Ayu resigns as the national chairman for an acting chairman of Southern Nigeria extraction. We resolve not to participate in the campaign council in whatever capacity until the resignation of Dr Iyorchia Ayu.”

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