- Umar Damagum appointed as PDP’s acting National Chairman.
- Appointment follows suspension of Iyorchia Ayu by his ward in Benue State for anti-party activities.
- Court order restrains Ayu from parading as chairman pending determination of the substantive suit.
- PDP acknowledges the court order and makes leadership changes in line with party constitution.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has appointed Umar Damagum as the acting National Chairman of the party, following an emergency meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) on Tuesday, March 28, 2023.
The decision was made in acknowledgment of the order of the Benue State High Court, dated March 27, 2023, with regards to the Chairmanship position of the party.
According to the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba, the NWC carefully considered the Court Order and in line with Section 45 (2) of the Constitution of the PDP (as amended in 2017), resolved that the Deputy National Chairman (North) His Excellency, Amb. Umar Ililya Damagum, assumes the National Chairmanship of the Party in an acting capacity with effect from today, Tuesday, March 28, 2023.
Damagum’s appointment comes after Iyorchia Ayu was suspended by his ward in Benue State for anti-party activities. The court has restrained him from parading as the chairman of the party pending the determination of the substantive suit, which has been adjourned to April 17, 2023, for a hearing.
Terhide Utaan, a member of the party from Benue who is the plaintiff before Justice W. I Kpochi, obtained the court order stopping Ayu from parading himself as the National Chairman of the party. Utaan argued that following Ayu’s suspension by his Igyorov Ward Exco, it was wrong for him to continue as the PDP chair, as such a move would further cause chaos.
Before his suspension, there were calls for Ayu to leave the post. In the lead-up to the 2023 general elections, a group of governors in the party called G5 repeatedly demanded his resignation from the position. Led by Governor Nyesom Wike, the G5 argued that since the party’s presidential candidate for the election, Atiku Abubakar, is from northern Nigeria, Ayu – who is from the same region – should pave the way for a southerner to assume the office.
The G5 argued that this decision was based on fairness and equity.
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