The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has replaced the Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde with Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke as the Coordinator of his Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) in the Southwest. Recall that Makinde had withdrawn from the presidential campaign of the PDP over their grievances with northern dominances in key positions in the party.
Makinde and four other governors under the party identified as the G-5 had called for the resignation of the National Chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu.
The G-5 had noted that it would not support Atiku if Ayu remains in office ahead of the 2023 elections.
Atiku replaced Makinde with Adeleke after their final reconciliation move with the aggrieved governors and their allies broke down.
A crucial meeting was held between Atiku and Wike’s side in Port-Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
The request by the Governor of Adamawa, Ahmadu Fintiri who represented the PDP presidential candidate that the demands of the aggrieved Governors should be attended to after the 2023 elections were rejected by the governors, led by Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.
At the meeting were Samuel Ortom (Benue), Makinde (Oyo), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu).
Fintiri charged the Governors to focus on winning the forthcoming election instead of insisting on their demands.
The Governors who noted that their demand is non-negotiable insisted that Ayu must resign.
A party source that spoke with The Nation said Governor Wike while speaking on behalf of the G-5, said they would not lend their support for Atiku in their states.
The source said the pleas by Fintiri and other party leaders to the aggrieved governors to sheath their swords fell on deaf ears.
According to the source, “Both sides, those representing Atiku and the G-5, tended to believe that that may be the last reconciliation meeting aimed at resolving the conflict.
“The only concession that Fintiri could guarantee on behalf of Atiku was that the five governors should wait till when the candidate wins before the national chairman can resign.
“As usual, G-5 rejected the proposal and maintained their ground that Ayu should go.”
The source noted that Atiku in his reaction to the breakdown of the reconciliation move has dumped Makinde and opted for Adeleke as regional coordinator.
The source said, “Alhaji Atiku is bypassing Governor Makinde. He has appointed Adeleke as Southwest Campaign Coordinator. Adeleke will coordinate activities in Southwest from Ibadan, Oyo State capital.
“He is also wooing his old friends and other chieftains who are fanatical supporters of the PDP across the six states.”
Speaking on what would be Makinde’s next step, the source said: “Governor Makinde is campaigning for a second term.
“He is consolidating his PDP base.”