Following the insistence of five governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, must resign as condition for giving him their support, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has activated his plan to win the election in the affected states.
Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike; his Oyo State counterpart, Seyi Makinde as well as Governors Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu are all at loggerheads with Atiku and the party’s hierarchy, with the PDP presidential candidate recently declaring that he had decided to carry on his campaign without them.
Feelers from the Atiku camp indicated that the presidential candidate has mapped out new strategies with which he intends to triumph in the states where the aforementioned governors hold sway as the chief executives.
One of such plans is for the PDP presidential candidate and his party to shift focus to the three geopolitical zones in the North.
Atiku and PDP, it was also gathered, have elected to engage influential party leaders in each of the affected states to checkmate the governors now popularly referred to as the G5.
Part of the counter-strategy, it was gathered, is to scramble for 50 per cent of the votes in each of the G5 states.
Some Atiku strategists are also out to prevent the rebellious governors from imposing their successors, winning senatorial elections or re-election as in the case of Oyo State.
It was gathered that the recent appointment of 200,000 aides by Governor Nyesom Wike was a move meant to curtail Atiku’s Plan B.
But a source in the G5 camp said Atiku’s Plan B cannot work because “it is too late in the day”
Investigation revealed that Atiku and PDP have also drawn the battle line with the governors in the five affected states in what might be a do-or-die affair because of their anti-party activities.
According to findings, Atiku and PDP opted to move on without the five governors after realising that some of them are nothing more than “lightweights” in their states.
They were also said to have realised instances where some of the governors have lost the confidence of their people who are just waiting to resist the governorship candidates imposed by them.
A reliable source, who spoke in confidence, said: “Atiku and PDP have activated Plan B on how to win presidential election in the five states without the governors.
“We have done ward to ward analysis of the voting pattern since 2015, and at a strategy meeting, it was agreed that the five governors can be beaten in their states.
“We concluded that the battle should be taken to Wike and others. Apart from Wike, we rated some of the governors as “weak”.
“The weakness accounted for why the National Chairman of PDP, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, decided to come out to challenge Governor Samuel Ortom.
“We said if key PDP leaders in each of the five states are engaged, Atiku can win about 50 per cent of the votes in the five states.
“Besides Rivers State, the other states are not swing states in any way. They are parasitic states to Rivers.
“We know what is happening. One of the states has just been supplied brand new vehicles for campaign by one of the five governors.
“The introduction of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has buoyed the confidence of Atiku and PDP leaders that the five governors are beatable in their terrains.”
As at press time, it was learnt that the PDP has shifted its focus to the North to gain mileage for Atiku and the party in order to fill the vacuum created by the boycott of the G5.
Findings indicated that Atiku was yet to make an inroad into some parts of the North despite being a Northerner.
The opposition party is worried that most of the states in the North are under the control of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In line with Plan B, some PDP leaders met with the Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed in Bauchi yesterday.
Some of the attendees of the Bauchi meeting were Ayu; Sokoto State Governor and Director-General of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council, Aminu Tambuwal and former Governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido.
A source said: “With the South-East gone, the South-South fluid and the South-West a no go area for PDP, the alternative is to do everything possible to win in the North.
“They are desperate to secure the North or else the election will be a formality for APC.”
As part of efforts to resolve the internal crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Chairman of the party, Iyorcha Ayu, Director General of the Atiku Abubakar presidential campaign council, Aminu Tambuwal and former Governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, met in Bauchi yesterday for consultations.
The delegation arrived in the evening for the meeting with Governor Bala Mohammed.
Ayu, during the visit, described Mohammed as one of the major national stakeholders who have contributed immensely to the development of the party, adding that the meeting was also meant to rally support for the party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
Ayu said: “We are here to brief you on some of the developments that are going on in the party nationally and to seek your wise counsel because you’re not just the governor of Bauchi, you’re a leader in this country –very experienced.
“In all the places you have served, you gathered the experience, and we thought people like you in this campaign from time to time we need to come around and consult, brief you on some things.”
After the closed-door meeting which lasted about one and a half hours, Ayu shunned briefing the press on the outcome.
But Mohammed, who spoke briefly, said the delegation was in Bauchi to discuss issues concerning the party, the campaigns and the elections.
“They came to Bauchi to discuss some grey areas concerning my position as Deputy Director General of the Campaign Council in charge of the North,” he added.
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