The aggrieved five governors (G5) of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are reportedly fighting to keep its camp intact and strategising to resist moves by the presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar to use their people against them in their various states.
The G5 who arrived Makurdi, the Benue State capital on Sunday for a crucial meeting have also resolved to sustain their agitation for the resignation of National Chairman Iyorchia Ayu, who enjoys the support of Atiku.
The Nation reports that the governors are also trying to woo more aggrieved chieftains to its camp from the six geo-political zones to make its onslaught to acquire a national outlook.
It was also gathered that the aggrieved governors are trying to mobilise their camps in their respective states to resist ‘divide and rule tactics’ allegedly employed by the presidential candidate to undermine and destabilise their structures.
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike and his colleagues-Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) — are being hosted by Governor Sam Orton, who is flagging off campaigns for governorship and parliamentary elections in Makurdi today.
They have insisted that Ayu, who hails from Benue, should quit, claiming that he had voluntarily promised to leave if a northerner was picked as presidential candidate.
A source said the five governors have resolved to be in one accord in their opposition to Atiku, who is unwilling to prevail on Ayu to quit as chairman.
Although the five governors are also under pressure to have a rethink and make more sacrifices, they have resolved to fight on, following moves by Atiku to instigate some party chieftains against them in their states.
The source, who is close to one of the governors, said it is too late for the G5 to discontinue their agitations for Ayu’s sack.
He said:”G5 is also fighting to keep its camp intact and resisting moves by Atiku to polarise them. It may also be possible that the governors are receiving motivation from outside forces.
“Part of their strategies is to attend fully any activity organised by any of them, particularly during the campaigns.”
The source said the PDP had mismanaged the crisis by underrating Wike and his colleagues.
He added: ”The battle started long time ago. It started ahead of the convention for the election of the national chairman. Although Wike and his group supported Ayu, little did they guess that he is a staunch supporter of Atiku.
“But, the challenge now is that if Ayu steps down, the five governors may invent another not to support Akitu.”
Ortom, while giving his opening remarks at the cocktail organised for his colleague, said: “To hell with Atiku and any one supporting him.”
Ortom asked Ayu to honour the agreement to step down.
He said: “If you don’t honour agreement, you create problems. That’s why there are problems in the party today.
”Some people are blackmailing me for calling on Ayu to resign, Yes, because I can’t betray Governor Nyesome Wike. He was the one who supported Ayu to emerge as the National chairman. So, it would amount to betrayal if Ayu reneges on his promise and expect me to support him because he is a Benue man like me.”
Ortom stressed that Wike has no problem with Benue people, but only fighting for equity and justice.
He said 18 people were killed in Guma Local Government area last week by herdsmen who were trying to take over Benue land, yet some people wanted him to keep quiet.
Ortom said: “At 62, I am ready to die. I have written my will. God has been good. My age mates are long dead. So, nobody should blackmail me with Senate. Senate or no Senate, to hell with Atiku.”