PDP NEC: North Central Set To Produce Ayu’s Replacement

As schemings for the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) slated for April 18, 2024 intensifies, the North Central Caucus of the party has set in motion arrangements to present a candidate to complete the term of the zone which was truncated after the former PDP national chairman, Sen. Iyorchia Ayu, was removed from office through a court verdict.

Recall that the PDP National Working Committee (NWC), last week, fixed the Party’s NEC meeting for Thursday, April 18, 2024, after a National Caucus meeting slated for Wednesday, April 17.

Following the zoning of the national chairmanship of PDP to the North Central, the party’s national convention on October 31, 2021, voted Ayu, a former Senate President from Benue State, to occupy the seat.

Ayu was forced to step aside as a chairman after an order of the Benue State High Court, dated March 27, 2023 which restrained him from parading himself as chairman.

In keeping with the party’s constitution, the deputy national chairman, (North) Amb. Illiya Damagum from Yobe State, North East Nigeria, has since taken over as acting national chairman since March 28, 2023 (over a year).

However, there have been calls from various quarters, including the North Central, on the Damagum-led NWC to convene a NEC meeting to, among other things, receive the nomination from the North Central and approve a substantive national chairman from the zone.

LEADERSHIP gathered that party leaders from the North Central held a crucial meeting in Abuja last week where they  insisted that a substantive national chairman should without further delay, emerge from the North Central.

They had also insisted that Amb Damagum should revert to his original position as deputy national chairman in line with the provision of the Constitution of the PDP.

The meeting which had in attendance members of the PDP North Central Zonal Executive Committee and respective state chairmen of the party from the six states of the zone and Federal Capital Territory (FCT), insisted on producing a replacement for the acting national chairman.

A source at the meeting hinted that the leaders mandated Plateau State governor, Caleb Muftwang, to convene a decisive meeting of the Zonal Caucus that would come up with the nomination for the party’s substantive National Chairman from the North Central Zone.

“With the exit of the former National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, our zone was expected to produce a successor, but this was delayed. The National Chairmanship is zoned to the North Central, and the PDP Constitution provides that a successor must come from the North Central. So the Constitution should be followed.

“We have held a series of meetings on the issue. This was also the reason State Chairmen from the North Central met in Abuja last Wednesday. We are unanimous in seeking a credible nomination.

I can confirm to you that names are being discussed; we are narrowing our selection and stakeholders will reach a conclusion on their choice before the April 18 meeting.

 

“We have mandated the governor (Muftwang) that he should call a Caucus meeting of our zone to enable us to come up with a replacement to take the mantle from Ambassador Damagum.

 

“We have raised this with Governor Muftwang in our meeting. The Constitution of our party needs to be followed so that our Zone (North Central) can serve out its term. The position is for the North Central and we insist on taking back our position at the NEC meeting”, the source said.

 

So far, former Governor of Benue State, Senator Gabriel Suswam is said to be eyeing the chairmanship position.

Credit Gist New Today News in Newspaper Nigeria Headlines

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