Some disgruntled Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members, led by the party’s G-5 group of five governors, were embarrassed yesterday in Lagos when PDP supporters from the state interrupted their gathering and began singing songs in favor of the party’s presidential candidate and former vice president, Atiku Abubakar.
However, the dissidents, who changed their name to Integrity Group, reaffirmed that they were willing to make amends with PDP and Atiku, whose nomination as a presidential candidate and subsequent selection as his running mate had been the root of their complaint.
The PDP members in the state revealed the group’s alleged plot to thwart the party’s nominee’s bid for the presidency and insisted that Atiku was their preferred candidate for 2023.
The former deputy national chairman of the PDP revealed a plot to derail his party at the start of the meeting, according to Kunle Folorunsho, a PDP member who was present. Kunle Folorunsho described what transpired in a viral video clip.
Folorunsho claimed that George had informed the gathering that they would only support party candidates for the Senate and House of Representatives and would not participate in the presidential and gubernatorial contests. At this moment, he claimed, he voiced the argument that Atiku was the party’s presidential candidate and that they would support him.
Folorunsho claimed that as soon as he had finished speaking, George supporters wearing special T-shirts attacked him and tore through his clothing; however, he was saved by supporters of Atiku who retaliated.
According to Folorunsho, the crowd outside the meeting location at George’s office on Lugard Avenue, Ikoyi, began chanting “Atiku…Atiku…Atiku,” sending a clear message to George and company that Lagos might be impenetrable for their anti-party activities. As the governors, also known as Integrity Group, and the others made to leave in their vehicles.
Over three hours had passed while the G-5 and other angry PDP leaders deliberated their choices.
Governors Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, Samuel Ortom of Benue State, and Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State were there as Integrity Group members.
In addition to the five governors, other attendees at the meeting included Senator Olaka Nwogu, Senator MAO Ohuanbuwa, Hon. N. Ikeje, Senator Nasir Suleiman, Senator Sandy Onor, Malam B. Adoke, Olusegun Mimiko, Ayo Fayose, Donald Duke, Bode George, PDP Deputy National Chairman (South), Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja, National Vice Chairman (South-south), Chief Dan.