The National Executive Council of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has passed a vote of confidence on the party’s National Working Committee (NWC). This action has saved Ayu from dismissal.
The NWC is headed by the party’s national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu.
The confidence vote was passed at the NWC on Thursday, in Abuja.
This was a follow-up to the adoption of a motion on a vote of confidence proposed by House Minority Leader Ndudi Elumelu.
Introducing the motion, Elumelu commended Mr. Ayu and the NWC for their stubbornness and for handing over the Osun state to the party in the July 18 state gubernatorial election.
He also praised the NWC for showing maturity despite disagreement among some members.
“We have decided…because the NWC has performed tremendously,” he said. “I am proposing that a vote of confidence be put before the NWC for their stubbornness, outspokenness, and professionalism, especially in giving us the state of Osun. I believe they will give us Nigeria in 2023,” Elumelu said.
An APC defector, Ishola Balogun-Fulani, seconded his motion. After that, the acting chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees, Adolphus Wabara, put the motion to a voice vote, which was adopted unanimously.
The confidence vote comes amid a crisis rocking the party with some aggrieved members led by Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike calling for Mr. Ayu to resign.
Wike and some Southern leaders in the party have also called for the NWC to be reorganized to balance the asymmetry in the leadership structure, which is in favor of the North.
Mr. Ayu, a former President of the Senate, hails from Benue state in the north.
Walid Jibrin, from Nasarawa state, also in the north, had already resigned from his post as chairman of the PDP BoT a few hours earlier. He made the announcement at the BoT meeting on Thursday.
And Mr. Wabara, a former president of the Senate, was immediately appointed acting president.
Leaders preach peace
At the NEC meeting, some of the party leaders took turns preaching peace and unity in the party.
Elumelu, who described the PDP as the solution to the country’s many problems, said it is important for the PDP to come together.
“We must learn to forgive each other,” he said. “We cannot all be president, presidential candidate. But together we can lead. If we can only be patient, we can lead.”
For his part, Wabara said the party has a built-in problem-solving mechanism.
He urged party members to always report internally no matter what the issue, rather than play the gallery.
He also asked members to emulate the president who “doesn’t react” and “doesn’t come out to the press.”
For Atiku Abubakar, the party’s presidential candidate, family disagreements are normal.
While assuring that the PDP is determined to resolve internal disagreements, he urged members to resolve problems in accordance with the provisions of the party constitution and the party’s governing rules.