EXCLUSIVE: As Makinde ignores Atiku’s presidential rallies, PDP makes Adeleke Southwest leader

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The national body of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has informed the recently inaugurated governor of Osun State, Ademola Adeleke that he would act as the Southwest leader of Atiku Abubakar presidential campaign. 

Before the inauguration of Adeleke last weekend, the only opposition governor in the region is Seyi Makinde of Oyo State.

He is one of the five PDP governors, also known as the G5, involved in a rift with the party. 

Others are Nyesom Wike of Rivers, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, Samuel Ortom of Benue, and Ifeanyi Ugwanyi of Enugu.

After the primary election that produced Atiku as the party’s flag bearer, the aggrieved governors who recently renamed their camp as the Integrity Group demanded the replacement of the party’s National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, who is from Benue State in the North Central zone, with a southerner.

Following the refusal of Ayu to step down, the G5 governors have refused to support Atiku, even declining nomination into his presidential campaign council. 

They, however, formed parallel PDP campaign councils in their states without putting Atiku’s image on campaign billboards, posters and vehicles.

Sources within the party told TheNigerian News that Adeleke has become PDP leader and is to lead campaign, reminding him of how he enjoyed the support of the party during his hard times in Osun State. 

Recall that there was a faction in the state before the election of Adeleke. He faced stiff opposition from his opponents and other senior party leaders, including former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola, during and after the party’s primary. 

However, the national leadership of the PDP stood behind him through the storms and they are asking him to use the honeymoon he currently enjoys with Osun people to support Atiku as leader of the region.

The southwest region is strategic because it has the second largest volume of registered voters after the North-west.