The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is considering expelling members of the G-5 Governors which is made up of Rivers State Governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike, Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State and Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, if they go ahead and announce their support for any presidential candidate other than Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
Atiku is the PDP presidential candidate.
A reliable source, who is a member of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council, who disclosed this to THISDAY on Wednesday, said another measure being considered by the leadership of the main opposition party was the dissolution of the party structures in the respective states of the G-5 governors, who are also referred to as the ‘Integrity Group’, and establish caretaker committees to run the affairs of the party in the five states.
According to the source who pleaded to remain anonymous, taking such action would also affect the political ambition of Makinde, who is seeking re-election as governor as well as Okezie, Ortom and Ikpeazu, who all contesting for the Senatorial seats in their respective states.
“Dissolving the party structure will also affect their loyalists who are contesting for different positions under the PDP in Abia, Rivers, Oyo, Benue and Enugu,” the source added.
The governors elected on the platform of the PDP had in what many had described as another jamboree, on Monday, travelled to the United Kingdom for another strategic meeting.
The governors led by Wike have been calling for the resignation of the PDP’s National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, as their minimum condition for peace in the party and to join the presidential campaign council of the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku. Wike has refused to accept his defeat at the party’s presidential primary in good faith.
Since he lost the primary and even the vice presidential slot, Wike has utilised the enormous resources at his disposal to mobilise four other governors to fabricate crisis in the party.
The aggrieved governors have been working against their party for months since Wike failed to clinch the vice presidential running mate to Atiku Abubakar. They have been insisting that Iyorcha Ayu, the national chairman of their party must quit for a Southerner to take his place, stating that it was the irreducible minimum for peace to reign in the party.
Wike had specifically boasted that Atiku would not win the election if he and his allies do not support his presidential ambition. Top on the agenda for their meeting in London is who they would support for president in the 2023 election.
THISDAY had reported that baring any last minute change in political permutations, the group may have concluded plans to endorse Mr. Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party.
Obi with former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke and four of the G5 governors met in London last August.
Last week, Wike said he would reveal the presidential candidate to mobilise votes for in the forthcoming 2023 general elections in January.
Many have urged the party to move against Wike and his group by expelling them for unpardonable anti party activities but the party has reframed from taking such actions. But the more the party tolerated the excesses of the governors, the more emboldened they have become. Governor Wike in particular has been boastful about his his capacity to do damage to the party. Just recently, he short down Atiku’s campaign office in Port Harcourt.