Fresh details have emerged on why the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, wants the removal or resignation of the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Iyorchia Ayu.
Ortom is said to be part of the G-5 PDP Governors calling for the removal of Ayu and his replacement with a southerner as part of conditions to back the presidential candidate of the party, Atiku Abubakar.
It was gathered that Ortom, who was instrumental to the emergence of Ayu as the PDP national chairman, now wants him out over a breach of trust, aligning himself with the position of the other four governors calling for Ayu’s sacking.
According to a source who spoke to Vanguard, when PDP governors met to deliberate on repositioning the PDP for the 2023 election, they had agreed to zone the chairmanship to a state where the party had no sitting governor in the north.
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“The chairmanship was ceded to the North and all southern presidential aspirants supported this position, knowing it would make their claim to vie for the highest office stronger, given the principle of zoning as provided in the party’s constitution.
“The North Central geo-political zone which produced past chairmen in Solomon Lar, Barnabas Gemade, Audu Ogbeh and Ahmadu Ali was highly favoured to produce the chairman.
“This zone is made up of Plateau, Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa and Niger states. Among these states, only Benue has a PDP governor. So, some party chieftains from the North and South picked Ayu and started weaving a story of integrity around him, against what the governors earlier agreed on.
“Ortom was not keen on Ayu because he was part of the agreement with the governors that a non-PDP state should produce the chairman.
“But Ayu’s supporters said it would be good to listen to the man speak on his plans for the party. It was at the Bauchi State Governor’s lodge that he addressed the northern caucus of the party and pledged to quit if a northern candidate emerged as the party’s flag bearer.”
He stated that after the meeting, Governor Ortom decided to back his kinsman by selling his candidacy to his colleagues, stressing that the PDP chairman would keep his promise in the event that a northerner picked the presidential ticket.
“This is why Governor Ortom cannot hide his feelings. He expected the man to do exactly what he promised, but that is yet to happen,” the top party official added.