Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, has launched what looks like his own counter offensive against the Nyesom Wike-led G-5 governors in the party, ahead of next month’s elections.
It was gathered Ayu, as part of his plans to cripple the power base of the governors, shredded the lists of polls agents compiled by the governors and forwarded to the party’s national secretariat in Abuja for onward submission to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Only party agents accredited by INEC are allowed at polling stations and collation centres.
A party source confirmed the rejection of the names of some nominees to serve as agents but said those dropped are currently in service as government appointees.
The source drew attention to the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022 which prohibit government appointees from being party agents during elections.
The Act however prescribed that such government appointees must resign their positions three months before the election to be eligible to stand as party agents at voting centres.
Sources also said Ayu, in response to the lists of party agents sent to the National Secretariat by PDP state leaderships in the affected states, urged them to work with the leadership of the campaign committees in their state for the final list.
An aide to one of the G5 governors said: “there is no way we will leave our destiny in their hands when we know Ayu is not wishing us well. If they want to nominate the party agents that will work during the presidential election, no problem since they no longer trust the people in charge in the states.
“But how can they also reject our lists for other elections? This is where we smell some rats.”
The G-5’s insistence that they would not work for Atiku was reinforced on Friday shortly after the aggrieved governors returned from their London trip.
Wike had earlier set aside January 2023 to declare his preferred presidential candidate and mobilise support for him ahead of the 2023 poll.
The Rivers governor said on Friday that the PDP national chairmanship position must be ceded to the South as a minimum requirement for peace was not negotiable.
A top member of the party who craved anonymity, said the PDP must summon enough courage to wield the big stick if the governors make good their threat to dump the party’s candidate.
The party chieftain said: “The only way the PDP can redeem itself is to apply the appropriate sanctions against these governors if they eventually declare support for another candidate.
However, another PDP chieftain posited that it’s rather too late to impose any sanctions on the G-5 governors at this critical time.
The party chief, who also did not want his name in print, said with the general election barely two months away, it would be counter- productive to sanction the governors.