There is a massive defection from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as many candidates for National and State primary elections have withdrawn their participation over the resignation and withdrawal of former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi from the party.
From yesterday evening to Thursday morning, the party leaderships in the States have been inundated with letters of withdrawal from the races as they await the formal declaration by Obi for the new party on which they intend to run alongside with him.
The new development has thrown the party rank and file into confusion and anger as they discuss the issue.
One of the messages said succinctly: “Take it to bank or leave it. Everything about PDP in the South East is dead, burial programme in progress and oration going on, grave being closed and awaiting the final prayer for mass to close. This is for delving to smear the zoning appropriate formular and power shift. QED.”
Another message trending in one the party’s WhatsApp platforms include: “Please, dont abandon PDP now! We still have some of our brothers aspiring for other elective positions. Let’s support them! Let’s win together!”
Across the South East region, many have resolved to resign from the party en masse. Others who have so far tendered their resignation or shown strong signs of resigning from the party include Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu.
The main grouse of party leaders from the South East which is triggering the exodus is the “disdain” of the national leadership of PDP towards the region which has supported the party since the advent of democracy in 1999.
The Dr Iyorchia Ayu-led National Executive Committee of the party had spurned the zoning culture enshrined in the party’s constitution and thrown the race open even when it was generally agreed that it was the turn of the South East to produce the Presidential candidate.
And even in the race to produce the Vice Presidential candidate, the party leadership is looking not to the South East region but the South South region where it is expected that the slot will go to either Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike or Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom State as they are working to produce Atiku Abubakar or any of the Northern candidate as the party’s flag bearer.
Obi’s resignation was the first bombshell for the PDP as the party never saw it coming.
Director General of the Peter Obi Presidential Campaign Organisation, Dr. Doyin Okupe, who made Obi’s resignation from PDP public after submitting a copy of his resignation letter to the PDP National Secretariat, Abuja, on Wednesday, noted that the aspirant took the decision following recent happenings within the party.
Obi had in the letter titled: “Resignation From Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Withdrawal from the Presidential Contest,” which he addressed to the PDP National Chairman, Sen. Iyiochia Ayu, dated May 24, 2022, said he had already notified the party Chairman at the ward level.
He wrote, “I am writing to intimate you of my resignation from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which was conveyed to the Chairman of Agulu Ward 2, Anaocha LGA, Anambra, effective Friday 20 May, 2022. Consequently, I am by this letter informing you of my withdrawal from the PDP Presidential Primaries.
“It has been a great honour to contribute to nation-building efforts through our party. Unfortunately, recent developments within our party make it practically impossible to continue participating and making such constructive contributions.
“Our national challenges are deep-seated and require that we each make profound sacrifices towards rescuing our country. My commitment to rescuing Nigeria remains firm, even if the route differs.
“I wish to thank you personally for your graciousness and leadership. I wish you well and best of luck in the service of country.“