PDP governors plot to take over the party hierarchy as the rift between Wike and Atiku widens

Apr 19, 2024 | Politics | 0 comments

As the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) convenes its pivotal National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting today, speculations abound that governors within the party may assert influence over the proceedings.

This development arises from the ongoing power struggle among critical stakeholders aiming to dominate the PDP leadership and position themselves for the 2027 general elections.

According to Section 31(1) of the party’s constitution, the NEC comprises over 100 members, including the national chairman (also chair of the NEC), the president, vice president (who are party members), chair and secretary of the board of trustees, principal officers of the Senate, two senators from each geopolitical zone, principal officers of the House of Representatives, three House of Representatives members from each zone, all state governors, members of the national working committee, state chairmen, ex-officio members, and former national officeholders still in the party.

Previously, the tug-of-war for control within the party mainly involved factions aligned with former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister Nyesom Wike. However, the dynamics have shifted, with governors, particularly those in their second terms, now forming a formidable bloc to seize control.

Current PDP governors include Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri (Adamawa), Umo Eno (Akwa Ibom), Bala Muhammed (Bauchi), Douye Diri (Bayelsa), Sheriff Oborevwori (Delta), and Godwin Obaseki (Edo), among others. Notably, governors from Bauchi, Adamawa, Bayelsa, Edo, and Oyo are in their second terms, with the Edo governor set to leave office later this year.

Insiders reveal that certain second-term governors are strategizing to assume control before 2027. While some express genuine concerns over party division, others aim to position themselves or their allies for the party’s presidential candidacy in 2027, challenging the dominance of Atiku or Wike.

Despite efforts by some governors to rally behind a preferred candidate or unify the party, discord among them impedes progress. The PDP Governors’ Forum remains divided over the position of acting chairman Umar Damagum, with some advocating for his continuation, especially ahead of elections in Edo and Ondo states.

Following a closed-door meeting, the forum chairman, Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State, stressed the resolution of party issues within constitutional bounds. He dismissed notions of conflicting forces within the party, affirming that the NEC, not governors, would make decisions.

In a communiqué issued after the meeting, the governors urged the NWC to organize credible congresses in states where party officials’ tenures have expired.

Governors from Rivers, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, and Delta, as well as deputy governors from Edo and Enugu, attended the meeting.

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