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Udom, Makinde lead Atiku’s 326-member campaign team

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The Peoples Democratic Party has appointed the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, as the chairman of its presidential campaign organisation.

The party also named the Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, and his Bauchi State counterpart, Bala Mohammed, as vice chairmen for the South and North respectively.

A document containing the names of members of the council, sighted by our correspondent on Friday night, indicated that the campaign council would comprise four directorates and a total of 326 members.

The document, dated September 15, 2022, and signed by the party’s National Organising Secretary, Umar Bature, indicated that the inauguration of the members would hold in Abuja on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, which is the day campaigns begin.

The composition of the campaign council ended months of speculation over who would lead the presidential campaign following the crisis that erupted in the party after Atiku Abubakar emerged as the party’s presidential candidate in May.

The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, who came second to Atiku’s 371 votes with his 237 votes, had been disgruntled over his loss at the poll, as he cited irregularity during the primary.

His dissatisfaction reportedly peaked after Atiku chose the Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, as his running mate and the refusal of the candidate to carry him along.

Wike, Makinde and some other southern leaders of the party had demanded the resignation of the party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, before there could be peace in the party.

According to the document, however, Atiku, Okowa, Ayu, Wike, former vice-president Namadi Sambo, former Senate President and Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Adolphus Wabara, former BoT chairman, Walid Jibrin, governors on the party’s platform, its principal officers in the National Assembly and several others are also members of the council.

Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, would serve as the Director-General while four deputy directors-general would head the four directorates.

A former Cross River State Governor, Liyel Imoke, would head the Operations Directorate; a former National Secretary of the party, Prof Wale Oladipo, would head the Administration directorate; the Chairman of DAAR Communications, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, would head the Technical and Systems Directorate, while a former National Chairman of the party, Okwesilieze Nwodo, would head the Strategy Directorate.

Other notable names in the council include members of the National Working Committee; aspirants in the party’s presidential primary, former senate presidents, David Mark and Dr Bukola Saraki; former deputy senate president, Ike Ekweremadu; former Governors Lucky Igbinedion, Ayo Fayose, Jonah Jang, Donald Duke, Babangida Aliyu, among others.

Meanwhile, Atiku has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission and other agencies of government playing roles in the electoral process to ensure that the outcome of the 2023 general elections reflects the desires of the people.

In a statement on Thursday night by his media adviser, Paul Ibe, the former vice-president on the occasion of the International Day for Democracy noted that although there had been significant improvements in recent elections, the 2023 elections would be an opportunity for INEC to show that it had grown beyond partisanship.


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