By Uche Amunike
Five aggrieved governors of the Peoples Progressive Party (PDP), led by the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, arrived Lagos, Sunday, to form a group known as ‘Integrity Group’, at a closed door meeting which was held at the Southern Sun Hotel in Ikoyi and hosted by Former PDP Deputy Chairman, Chief Olabode George.
Recall that shortly after Atiku Abubakar won the PDP’s presidential ticket, the aggrieved governors which include Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State and Seyi Makinde of Oyo State moved that the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu who was from the North should resign and be replaced by a southerner from the party since it was wrong for the presidential candidate and the National president to hail from the same zone.
Speaking to Newsmen before the commencement of the meeting, Seyi Makinde stated: ‘We are here this morning to hold a meeting of the Integrity Group within our party, the PDP. We have been of the G5- that is, the five PDP governors. The G5 is all about the Integrity Group.’
‘You can see us, five serving governors, as the face of this struggle both the leaders and elders of the party that you see here are the people behind those faces.’
‘We are in the South West to review the situation within our party, to review where we are and to also look at what is going to happen in the coming elections.’
After the formation of the Integrity Group, Seyi Makinde described the group as the face behind the struggle within the PDP, adding that they were backed by the leaders and elders who attended the meeting as well.
Hear him: ‘The G5 is all about the Integrity Group. You can see us, five serving governors, as the face of this struggle but the leaders and elders of the party that you see here are the people behind those faces,’ Makinde said.
‘We are this morning in the South West to review the situation within our party, to review where we are and to also look at what is going to happen in the coming elections.’
Present at the meeting were former governors Jonah Jang of Plateau State, Donald Duke of Cross River State, Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State, Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo state as well as Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja and Chief Dan Orbih, among others.
As for Jonah Jang, he told Newsmen, after the meeting that reconciliation was still an option. His words: ‘We at this meeting have decided to stand on the decisions we took at our last Port Harcourt meeting. We hereby again reiterate that the window for reconciliation in our great party, the PDP remains open.’
At the end of the meeting, it was resolved that the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu would step down in order to avoid regional imbalance, as the Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar hailed from the North as well.
Ayu, on his part has insisted that he would not resign until he has served his four-year term, not withstanding the fact that the G5 made it clear that they would only support Atiku if he stepped down.