Atiku Returns To Nigeria

Former Vice President and 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has returned to Nigeria in preparation for the highly-anticipated National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party.

Atiku, who had been abroad for several weeks, arrived in the early hours of Tuesday.

The NEC meeting, scheduled for April 18, comes after mounting pressure on the Ambassador Illiya Damagum-led National Working Committee (NWC) to convene the gathering.

The NEC, regarded as the party’s second most influential decision-making body, holds significant weight as stipulated by the party’s constitution, requiring quarterly meetings.

With the party facing internal challenges and criticisms over alleged external influence, Atiku’s return signals a pivotal moment for the PDP.

As the de facto leader of the party, having served as its presidential candidate in the 2023 elections, Atiku is expected to lead discussions and strategize ahead of the NEC meeting.

The North Central zone has also called for a change in leadership, urging Damagum to step down from his acting national chairmanship position.

The demand stems from the party’s original zoning agreement, which designated the national chairman position to the North Central region.

Former Senate President, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, from Benue State, had previously held the position until a court order led to Damagum’s appointment in 2023.

Sources within the party hint that the NEC meeting might address concerns regarding party members undermining its interests.

This includes governors and party leaders who openly opposed Atiku’s candidacy in 2023 and have recently pledged support for President Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).