The embattled national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Iyorchia Ayu, has stepped down from office.
Ayu’s decision on Tuesday afternoon was in obedience to an order of a Benue State High Court in Makurdi issued on Monday, which asked him stop parading himself as PDP national chairman.
Consequently, the deputy national chairman (North), Ambassador Iliya Damagun, has stepped in to take over as the party’s acting national chairman.
Ayu, had through his spokesman, Simon Imobo Tswam, told reporters that he will vacate the court order.
Meanwhile, the national publicity secretary of PDP, Hon. Debo Ologunagba, in a terse statement said the party’s leadership resolved and opted for Amb. Damagum to assume office in keeping with the court order.
He said, “The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at an emergency meeting today, Tuesday, March 28, 2023 acknowledge the Order of the Benue State High Court, dated March 27, 2023 with regards to the Chairmanship position of our great Party.
“After a careful consideration of the Court Order and in line with Section 45 (2) of the Constitution of the PDP (as amended in 2017), the NWC resolved that the Deputy National Chairman (North) His Excellency, Amb. Umar Ililya Damagum assumes the National Chairmanship of our Party in acting capacity with effect from today, Tuesday, March 28, 2023.
“The NWC charges all leaders, critical stakeholders, teeming members and supporters of our great Party to remain calm and united at this critical time.”
Recall that this is, however, the second time in two years a deputy national chairman of the party has assumed leadership of PDP following a court order stopping the party’s national chairman from office.
In 2021, a court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, had ordered the then national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, to stop parading himself in that capacity.
This followed his suspension from the party by his ward leadership in Rivers State.
Following Secondus’ adherence to the court order, his then deputy the South, Yemi Akinwonmi, took over as chairman in acting capacity before a new substantive chairman was elected.