Transparency and Integrity


Damagum: Enough Is Enough, PDP Youths Speak On Acting National Chairman


"PDP Chairman Damagum Should Be Accorded His Due Credit"

— PDP Youths React, Challenge Party Leaders, Stakeholders To Tender Results Of February 25th Presidential Election From Various States.

— How PDP Offended The South-East. — Inioribo 

Youths in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as a result of the recently delivered judgement by the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) which dismissed petitions of Atiku, Obi and APM for "lack of merit" have taken to various groups and social media platforms of the party to discuss matters arising amidst high emotions. 

MEDIA ORCHID recalls that the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) replaced Sen. Iyioricha Ayu with Amb. Umar Ililya Damagum as National Chairman, following an emergency meeting. The NWC acknowledged the order of the Benue State High Court, which barred Ayu from parading himself as Chairman of the party, as a result of agitations and suspension from stakeholders of his Igyorov Ward in Gboko LGA of Benue State over alleged anti-party activities.

A series of dramatic twists and turns  which has widely been termed as crisis within the party has been witnessed mostly arising from alleged sponsored personal attacks on the Acting Chairman Damagum not minding that the party and its 2023 presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, were in court challenging the declaration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress who was declared winner of the February 25 presidential election.

While a some make reference to former governor of Rivers State Nyesom Wike as having exhibited characters and carried out activities believed to have cost the  party victory, others hold the opinion that mistakes were made on the part of the presidential candidate and allies which further worsened the situation particularly referencing 'disregard to the South'. While either side of the argument may be upheld, the attacks on the current Acting National Chairman Damagum who though was not capacitated ab-initio to abjudicate on the matter but merely took over after crisis had come into play is eminent thereby leading Youths in the Party to critically examine the issues having stressed that they (Youths) have always suffered the worst of causalities of the crisis within the party.

Inioribo Tamunotonye in his recent articles "How PDP Offended The South-East & PDP Chairman Damagum Should Be Accorded His Due Credit" gave a breakdown of activities from 1999-2023 while lamenting "neglect of the South-East" by the PDP despite the huge contributions from the region. Inioribo in another article highlighted the contribution of the party's current Acting National Chairman Amb. Iliya Damagum while includes delivering his Yobe state for Atiku and the party during the presidential election and challenged stakeholders sponsoring attacks on the National Chairman to make public their various results from the February 25 presidential election.

Read Articles Below: 



Damagum Delivered Yobe To PDP: 

As the Deputy National Chairman of PDP, Ambassador Iliya Damagum led PDP to an unprecedented victory in Yobe State at the February 25, 2023 Presidential election. It was the first time the PDP would emerge victorious in any presidential contest in the state. He led PDP to triump over the combined machineries of Governor Mala Buni (a former APC Chairman & Secretary) and two APC strongmen, Senators Bukar Abba Ibrahim and Ibrahim Gaidam.

He Has Passion For United PDP:

Upon assuming office of Acting National Chairman in March 2023, Ambassador Damagum first move was to pay courtesy call on Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Party's presidential candidate who he delivered in Yobe state. On June 18, he led members of the NWC to Portharcourt to honor a Thanksgiving service of Chief Nyesom Wike, the influential former Governor of Rivers State. He proceeded by calling for an expanded meeting involving the Party's NWC and Select Stakeholders. That meeting reaffirmed Damagum's commitment to foster a unified PDP.

Maturity In Face of Provocative Actions: 

For pursuing reconciliation within the ranks of the Party, Illiya Damagum has been a subject of attack by some people who always want everyone to believe that they love the PDP and Atiku Abubakar more than every other person. These people have in the last several months made  statements and moves to undermine the person of Amb. Damagum and his office. Ironically, these people have been unable to contribute any meaningful votes to the Party in their constituencies since 2015, and lost woefully in 2023. In all of these, Amb. Damagum has been calm and focused on uniting the Party.

Let me also add that while Amb. Damagum was at the Court of Appeal on the day of the PEPT Judgement, none of these aforementioned persons displayed was seen anywhere close to the perimeters of the Court - yet they are the ones acting like they love Atiku.

Considering the above undisputed points, it is very natural for members of the PDP to unite behind Ambassador Umar Damagum to ensure that his vision for a united PDP is not truncated by self-serving, desperate but incapacity politicians.  _These self-serving politicians are only good at creating problems and crisis for the Party, but when it comes to result delivery they give series of explanations without any shred of evidence._ 

"Enough is Enough! Damagum should be accorded his due recognition", Inioribo added. 


NOTE: Only proceed if you are prepared to read with an open mind. Otherwise, kindly ignore.


Penultimate to 1999 Presidential election, Dr. Alex Ekweme, an Igboman from Anambra State, was at the forefront of picking the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. He was the leader of the G34 that formed the Party, and also the protem Chairman. Unfortunately for him, some interests within the Party led by Chief Solomon Lar, Prof. Jerry Gana, Alhaji Abubakar Rimi and some other politicians, including military officers, began to promote General Olusegun Obasanjo candidature. 

Although General Obasanjo was not part of the process leading to the  formation of PDP, he was promoted for two reasons. The first was to compensate the Southwest for the botched presidency of Chief MKO Abiola, while the second was to have a president with military background.  Even when Obasanjo did not meet the PDP requirement to run (which specifically required him to win his Ward and Local Government for PDP at the 1998 Local Government election), the Party still gave him special clearance. Eventually, he became the candidate after beating Ekweme at a Convention in Jos, Plateau State.


The Southeast felt slighted over the loss of PDP ticket, yet the zone gave PDP its block votes. A breakdown shows that PDP scored 67.3% in Abia, 76.1% (Anambra), 76% (Ebonyi), 76.6% (Enugu) and 57.3% in Imo states. Ironically, PDP lost woefully in the entire states of the Southwest where Obasanjo hailed from. The best the Party got was 30% in Ogun State where Obasanjo hails from.

In 2003, despite the presence of Ikemba Odumegwu Ojukwu on the the APGA ticket, the SE reaffirmed their loyalty to PDP by giving it 94% in Ebonyi, 77% in Enugu, 65% in Imo, and 54% in Abia and Anambra states (where Ojukwu hails from).

2007 - 2019

In 2007, though no SE politician was on PDP ticket of the presidential election, the zone still voted overwhelmingly for PDP. This was repeated in 2011. 

In 2015 and 2019, the southeast literally personalized the campaign against APC than the Southsouth and Northeast respectively where the Party's candidates, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar hailed from respectively. Their fanatical support for PDP made them enemies of the government of President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC.


Ahead of the 2023 presidential election, the Southeastern block of the PDP advocated for the ticket of the Party to be zoned to them as a reward for their religious support for the Party. Their argument was premised on three reasons, namely:

1. Power shift to the south

2. Time for president of Igbo extraction

3. Reward for past support for the party since 1999.

Though these demands were legitimate, the PDP threw its ticket open. Atiku Abubakar from the Northeast clinched the Party's ticket. 

Upon Atiku's emergence as candidate, the southern bloc, especially the southeast, was hurt, felt unappreciated and betrayed. In all fairness, it was not Atiku's fault that he won the PDP ticket in an open contest, the Party's leadership simply failed to manage the post-National Convention grievances from members of the party from the south, especially, the Southeast. For instance, while a section of the Party from the south was trying to come to terms with the primary election outcome, the national chairman literally rubbed the defeat on their when he proclaimed Aminu Tambuwal, who stepped down for Atiku on the basis of northern brotherhood, as the hero of the process. 

Furthermore, no known effort was made by the leadership to placate the southeast or compensate them for the loss of the presidential ticket. The Southeast was not assured of any of the top positions in government (when formed), including; Vice president, senate president, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Secretary to the Government. Moreover, at the call for Iyorchia Ayu’s resignation, PDP blew an opportunity to compensate the southeast with the position so as to give them the sense of belonging.

THROWBACK 1999-2019

At this point, permit me to mention that the PDP gave the Southeast the office of Senate President in 1999 compensation for the loss of the presidential ticket to Obasanjo. The National Chairmanship of the Party and Deputy Senate Presidency were ceded to the Southeast in 2008 and 2007 respectively after they lost the Vice presidential slot to the Southsouth in 2007. When Jonathan was elevated to become President, the Southeast lost the Party's Chairmanship but was compensated with the position of Secretary to the Government and retained the Deputy Senate President position. In 2019 the Southeast zone enjoyed the number two position on the ticket. 

But in 2023, the Southeast literally held no stake in the PDP Presidential project despite their consistent commitment to the Party, the zone. PDP became too comfortable and treated the zone like a conquered territory. This vacuum provided a window of opportunity which the Labour Party took advantage of. The consequence was that PDP lost its most loyal base to a miniature party. The PDP's poor performance in the Southsouth, Lagos and FCT could be attributed as a consequence of mishandling of the Southeastern block due to the influence of southeast indigenes.

Personally, I was displeased with the disposition of the Southeast to the LP instead of PDP - where they have heavily invested, but within my heart I understood that the Party was not fair to the southeastern zone.


The way forward is for the Party to admit its mistakes, recognise the people of the Southeast as important stakeholders in its project, reconcile them to the fold, and ensure that their interests and those of other five zones are well taken care of in the present and subsequently. 

Finally, Like PDP acknowledged that its failure to zone the 2015 presidential ticket combined with the mismanagement of the 2013 post Convention process cost it the Presidency in 2015, the PDP must equally acknowledge its maltreatment of the Southeast and mishandling of the post 2022 Convention process as responsible for its loss in 2023. 

Like the Party announced the zoning of its 2019 presidential ticket to the North as corrective measure for the 2013-2015 mistakes,  the PDP should consider zoning its 2027 presidential ticket to the South if it hopes to reclaim lost ground and return to power in 2027 and future elections.

PS: I used zoning to the "South" because traditionally it is only after a position is zoned to a region that stakeholders of PDP from the region decide the specific zone within the region.

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