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2023: Anxiety in PDP as five anti-Atiku governors meet in Enugu

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COSMAS CHUKWU, Enugu with agency report

Anxiety gripped leaders of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Sunday when five the governors who are insisting on the resignation of the national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu met behind closed doors in Enugu.

The group which is led by the governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, comprises his Oyo State counterpart, Seyi Makinde, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, Samuel Ortom of Benue State, and the host Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State.

The PDP governors were received at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu by their host, Ugwuanyi before they all drove to Government House Enugu where they  met behind closed doors.

The agenda of the meeting was not made public at the time of filing this report as the governors did not address journalists before going into the meeting.

Daily Champion however gathered that the gathering has to do with their insistence  that  Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, resigns his position because of his alleged allegiance to Atiku.

It would be recalled that that the five governors had boycotted the flagging off of the PDP presidential campaign in Abuja on Wednesday, September 28.

Before now, all attempts to broker peace between the warring factions have been unsuccessful as they were ready to shift ground on their demands.

Meanwhile, the three leading presidential candidates in the 25th February 2023 Nigerian presidential election, Messrs Peter Obi, Atiku Abubakar and Bola Tinubu, on Saturday, took their campaign ‘fight’ to Nigerians in the United States.

The Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria reports that the support groups for Abubakar, Obi and Tinubu converged on New York at the Nigeria Independence Day Parade and Carnival to canvass votes for their candidates.

Abubakar is the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) while Obi is that of the Labour Party (LP) and Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The support groups for the leading presidential candidates joined the Nigeria Independence Day Parade and Carnival in a float, with DJs and supporters dancing to the candidates’ campaign lyrics.

They later regrouped at the Dag Hammarskjold Park where they continued singing and dancing to attract Nigerians to their candidates.

Speaking with NAN, the Coordinator of Save Nigeria Group for Obi/Datti, Stephen Osemwegie, said Nigerians in the diaspora wanted a Nigeria that works for everyone, bemoaning the economic situation in the country.

“When people call us from home, the calls are no longer ‘how are you’. The calls are ‘please help me, save me’. So we in the diaspora are trying to get involved and being engaged,” he said.

“We found Obi to be a competent leader with integrity. He does say ‘go and verify’ and we verified his claims and they are largely true.

“Except maybe he may miss one number or the other but if you go through his antecedents, he is really a good man.

“And in Nigeria, we don’t have this type of people coming out very often. So we see this as a one in a lifetime opportunity.

“That’s why we came out in full force to let people know that this ‘Obidient’ movement is not just a Nigeria thing,” he said.

He also said that many Nigerians in the diaspora would vote adding, “because I will be in Nigeria for the election, I’m that determined. Many of us are going to buy our tickets”.

“One of the things Save for Nigeria Group is doing is to ask Nigerians, ‘instead of going for Christmas, go in January or February and vote.

“We are also asking people to support grassroot movements in Nigeria. Support them through your finances if you can. Also call your family members that call you for money.

“Ask them, ‘do you have your PVC’? ‘No PVC, no dollars. That’s what we are doing,”  Osemwegie said.

The Chairman of the PDP in the United States, Pastor Joe Olobor, said he was rooting for Atiku because he was the most experienced and prepared among the frontrunners for the election.

Olobor said: “Nigerians in the diaspora are actually influencers and that is why it is very important that we sell our candidate to them to be able to galvanise and utilise their influence over the many people they have in Nigeria.

“We in the diaspora especially in the United States send a lot of money to Nigeria to take care of our people back home. And we will not continue to do that if we have a good government to actually do the right thing.

“Of all the three candidates, Atiku is the most prepared candidate, the most experienced and the greatest unifier, both South and North. That’s what we are selling,” he said.

Also speaking with NAN, the Coordinator of the Tinubu Support Group, Lukman Ajasa, said Tinubu was the best among the presidential candidates because he had antecedents.

Ajasa said particularly, Tinubu would be able to address the security situation in the country, stabilise the economy and provide welfare for the citizens.

“My candidate is an accountable politician. He has fixed Lagos State and we can all see what Lagos is now.

“If you compare him to what the other candidates have done, they have not even done a quarter of what he (Tinubu) has done. I believe Tinubu is the best president for the country,” Ajasa said.

He, however, warned politicians against taking the Nigerian electorates for granted, saying the people can now fight back through their votes.

“The candidates need to open their ears and listen to what the people want. The electorates have heard enough and are ready to fight back.

“So as a politician, you must listen to the electorates and what they want. You must tell them how you want to fix the grassroots, particularly, the local governments.

“Fix the local governments and you have fixed Nigeria,” he said.

NAN reports that no fewer than 20 Nigerian Associations, groups and religious bodies joined the parade and carnival, including the UN Staff Recreation Council, Association of Nigerian Physicians, Akwa Ibom State Association and Christ Apostolic Church first in the Americas.

However, Presidential flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2023 general elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, says his party stands a good chance of winning on February 25.

“The PDP stands the chance to win the presidential election being one of the oldest political parties in the country,’’ Abubakar told newsmen after inaugurating his campaign office in Gombe.

He said that the party has huge support base in Gombe State and would leverage on that to ensure victory at the 2023 polls.

He called on PDP supporters in the state to shun campaign of calumny and focus on issue-based campaign so as to attract more supporters.

 

Saturday’s visit to Gombe State was the third time Atiku was in the state in 2022 on political overtures.

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