Five governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who are at loggerheads with the party’s leadership were absent at the presidential campaign rally on Saturday.
The rally, which took place in Benin, Edo state capital, was attended by governors, national working committee (NWC) and board of trustees (BoT) members of the party.
Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the PDP, returned to Nigeria from Europe on Friday ahead of the rally.
Godwin Obaseki, the host governor, and Emmanuel Udom, Akwa Ibom governor, were present at the Edo leg of the party’s campaign.
Also present were Aminu Tambuwal, Sokoto governor and director-general of the PDP presidential campaign, as well as Ifeanyi Okowa, the vice-presidential candidate.
However, Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, and his allies, including Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, Samuel Ortom of Benue, Seyi Makinde of Oyo and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu, failed to show up.
The governors have so far failed to attend any of the rallies of the PDP since the campaign flag-off in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state.
Wike, who is regarded as the arrowhead, recently reiterated the demand for the resignation of Iyorchia Ayu, the party’s national chairman.
The longstanding call for Ayu’s resignation is on the grounds that the national chairman and the presidential candidate of the party cannot be from the same region.
However, some members of the party had rejected the clamour, saying he can only step down after the presidential election in February 2023 if Abubakar wins.
On October 14, the PDP BoT asked Ayu to assure members that he will resign after the 2023 general election.
In reaction, Wike described the BoT resolution as “ridiculous”.