The five aggrieved Peoples Democratic Party governors led by Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and some other party stalwarts, on Sunday, announced the formation of the Integrity Group within the party.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Wike-led G5 governors have been clamouring for the resignation of the PDP National Chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, shortly after the party presidential ticket was won by a northerner, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
Other governors in the group are Samuel Ortom of Benue State, Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State and Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State.
The governors and some aggrieved party leaders are currently having a strategic meeting in Lagos, which may not be unconnected to the agitation for the removal of Ayu.
Addressing newsmen before going into a closed-door session, Makinde said the Integrity Group remained the face behind the struggle within the PDP.
Makinde said, “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,” he said.
Makinde noted that at the end of the deliberations, the group would fully brief the media on their stand on all the burning issues within the main opposition party.
“On behalf of our leaders and elders in the South-West, I want to welcome members of the Integrity Group and wish us well,” he said.
NAN reports that other PDP leaders at the meeting were former governors; Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo State), Ayo Fayose (Ekiti), Donald Duke (Cross River), Jonah Jang (Plateau) and former deputy National Chairman of the PDP, Chief Bode George.
Also present are, former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Bello Adoke; deputy National Chairman South of the PDP, Taofeek Arapaja; Seator Nasif Suleiman, Nnena Ukeje, Senator Sandy Onor and Senator Mao Ohabunwa.
The party leaders have repeatedly maintained that Ayu must resign for the sake of fairness and justice so as to bring peace to the party.
The aggrieved group maintained the need for the South to produce the party’s national chairman after Abubakar because the party’s presidential candidate for the 2023 general election is from the North.