On Monday, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) kicked off its presidential campaign in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. However, five PDP governors, led by Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, were noticeably absent.
Not all of the state governors were present, however. Governors Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, Seyi Makinde of Oyo, and Samuel Ortem of Benue were not there.
Even during last month’s launch of the party’s presidential campaign council, none of the group’s members showed up.
The event at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium proved that the PDP crisis was far from over, despite drawing a large crowd and proceeding smoothly.
At the beginning of his presidential campaign, PDP nominee Atiku Abubakar made good on his promise to end hunger in Nigeria.
We have launched our campaign to save Nigeria from hunger and poverty and to restore the unity that is so desperately needed in the country today.
It will be a return to prosperity and unity if you vote for the PDP. No longer will people go hungry, and peace and safety will prevail.
I solemnly swear that if you vote for PDP, you’ll all be required to resume your education immediately. Mr. Atiku promised job opportunities to the crowd.
After Mr. Atiku, the party’s former vice president, won the party’s presidential primary, the PDP has been mired in a leadership crisis.
Since both Messrs. Ayu and Atiku are from the north, Mr. Wike, a former PDP presidential aspirant, is leading a group of party loyalists who are demanding the resignation of the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, in order to achieve a “regional balance.”
Mr. Ayu, however, has said that he has no plans to resign because he was elected for a four-year term.
Walid Jibrin, a northerner from Nasarawa State and the PDP’s chairman of the Board of Trustees (BOT), resigned a few weeks ago, ostensibly to appease Mr. Wike and his group.
Mr Wabara, a senator originally from Abia State in the southeast, had replaced Mr Jibrin.
The Jibrin resignation has been met with disdain by Mr. Wike’s team. They are adamant that Mr. Ayu must relinquish his post.
The situation escalated last month when Mr. Wike’s appointees to the PDP presidential campaign committee announced their resignation.