PDP Puts Three Governors On Watchlist, Over Defection
By SOLA SADIQ – –
Following the defection of two of its senators to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) within the last two months and rumours of more defections thick in the air, anxiety has gripped the Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi over how to stem the tide.
Against the backdrop, the party leadership has placed three of its governors rumoured to be planning to defect to the APC on the watchlist, it was reliably gathered.
The governors include Prof. Ben Ayade of Cross River state, David Umahi of Ebonyi and Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo. Mimiko, who is the immediate past Chairman of PDP Governors Forum, is expected to handover to Rotimi Akeredolu of the APC on February 24 after the expiration of his second term in office.
A source said: “Many PDP leaders do not trust Ayade, who has never hidden his admiration for President Muhammadu Buhari. The fact that the president played host to the governor at his official residence on the eve of his departure to the United Kingdom on Wednesday has further put the PDP on edge.”
In the case of Umahi, his recent statement that the people of the state would back the President if he decides to contest for a second term in 2019 did not go down well with his party’s leaders.
For Mimiko, not a few PDP chieftains were shocked that he allegedly declined to support the party’s governorship candidate, Eyitayo Jegede in challenging the victory of APC’s Akeredolu in the governorship election held in November last year.
While Mimiko’s allies cite lack of funds to prosecute the matter at the Election Petition Tribunal as the major reason for the decision, his critics allege this may be a pointer that the outgoing governor may have struck a deal with the APC and could be on his way out of the party.”
The anxiety in the party over who next would leave the party has given room for mutual suspicion among its leaders, a source revealed.