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Ayu Withdraws Suit Against PDP, Paves Way For Emergence Of Ex-Governor Suswam As PDP National Chairman

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Baring any last minutes change in plans, all is now set for the emergence former Governor Gabriel Suswam as the new National Chairman for Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

This followed the withdrawal of court case against the party by the former national chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, who on Wednesday, in a show of party patriotism and commitment, withdrew all his pending Appeals at the Court of Appeal, where he was challenging the party for removing him from office.

In a notice of withdrawal of appeal tagged CA/MK/88/2024 SUIT NO: MHC/85/2023 dated April 15, made available to journalists, the Court of Appeal, Makurdi Division, Benue State, revealed that Ayu has withdrawn the appeal against the respondents filed on June 27, 2023 via Notice of Appeal dated the June 26, 2023.

The lawsuit, which was between Ayu (Appellant) and Engr. Terhide Utaan and the PDP as the respondents, read in part, “Take notice that the appellant herein intends and doth hereby wholly withdraw the appeal against the respondents filed on the 27th day of June 2023 vide Notice of Appeal dated the 26th day of June 2023.”

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It is believed that the development has paved the way for former Governor Suswan to take over as the National Chairman of the opposition party.

However, reacting to the development, the G-60 PDP lawmakers in the 10th National Assembly commended Senator Iyorchia Ayu for withdrawing the lawsuit, noting that the action that made the Acting National Chairman, Umar Damagun, to refuse to step down until the withdrawal of all cases, have now paved the way for him to hand over to a new occupant of the office from the North Central zone.

According to the G-60 PDP federal lawmakers led by Hon. Ikenga Ugochinyere, the member representing Ideato federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Ayu’s action has removed the last bottleneck and excuse being given by Damagun to hang on to power and opened the expressway without any excuse for Damagun to revert back to his position as Deputy National Chairman (North).

The lawmakers, who have been clamouring for reform of the party including seeking the resignation of the acting national chairman, Umar Damagun, stated that with Ayu’s withdrawal of pending court case against the PDP, the PDP NEC will proceed with the election of a North Central candidate as a substantive National Chairman, during their NEC meeting slated for Thursday, April 18.

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They claimed that despite the alleged plot of rogues in the party working for the All Progressives Congress (APC), the stepdown of Damagun from office was irreversible.

This is coming as ahead of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting slated for Thursday, where far-reaching decisions on issues affecting the party, including the appointment of a substantive national chairman to replace former Senate president, Iyorchia Ayu.

Expectedly, in the run-up to the meeting, supporters of former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, have renewed their supremacy battle over the control of the PDP, ahead of the 2023 general election.

Atiku and Wike fell out prior to the 2023 general election, in the aftermath of the nomination of former Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, as PDP vice presidential candidate and refusal of Ayu to vacate his position as demanded by the G-5, led by the FCT minister.

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Ayu was elected on October 31, 2021 but the party appointed the deputy national chairman from Kebbi State, Umar Damagum, on March 28, 2023 to act as its national chairman. Damagum took over from Ayu after he was barred by a Benue court from his position.

While the Atiku camp is pushing for the immediate appointment of a substantive national chairman, to take over from Umar Damagum, who have been occupying the office in acting capacity, since the ouster of Ayu as national chairman, last year, Wike’s supporters, including some governors and members of the National Working Committee (NWC) wants Damagum to be confirmed as substantive national chairman.

Even though no fewer than three aspirants, including former Benue State governor, Gabriel Suswam; former PDP deputy national secretary, Emmanuel Agbo and the opposition party’s Nasarawa State 2023  governorship candidate, David Ombugadu, from the North Central have indicated interest to serve as the next PDP national chairman, it is believed that the action of Senator Ayu in withdrawing his court cases will make it possible for Suswan to emerge as PDP national chairman on Wednesday next week.  

Comrade James Ezema is a veteran journalist and media consultant. He is a political strategist. He can be reached on +2348035823617 via call or WhatsApp.

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