The national chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, has told party loyalists and Nigerians that the party will return 25 or more governors in the 2023 general election, as it has done in the past.

Ayu spoke to the party’s governorship candidates from 34 states across the country at the party’s headquarters in Abuja after a closed-door meeting on Wednesday.

According to Ayu, the governor candidates have met with some members of the National Working Committee to express concerns in their various states about the efforts they are making to win the elections in their states.

“The candidates came and voiced their concerns in their various states. Informed us of the efforts they are making in their various states to win the elections.

“We want to return about 25 state governors or more like we used to have. So the mood in the party is excellent.

“We are determined that not only are we winning at the national level, states and national assemblies, and the state governorship, we want to return about 25 state governors or more like we used to have. So the mood in the party is excellent.”

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The meeting took place amid a leadership crisis in the party that put pressure on Ayu to step aside as one of the preconditions for reconciliation, according to Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike’s camp.

Wike’s camp has been angered by the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, who overlooked Rivers state governor Nyesom Wike as his running mate for the 2023 elections, and Delta state governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, nominated.

However, the party’s national chairman responded to those who asked for his resignation, saying he had been elected to a four-year term and would not resign until the end of his term.

The PUNCH had reported how Wike’s clique met Tuesday with All Progressives Congress presidential candidate Bola Tinubu in the United Kingdom, raising more questions than answers.

Bauchi state governor Bala Mohammed said during his speech at the end of the meeting that the candidates for governor were meeting to discuss party issues.

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“The candidates come together, unite the party and even discuss reconciliation issues.”

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