This followed the resolution of the group led by Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, not to participate in the Presidential Campaign Council of Atiku Abubakar.
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Iyorchia Ayu has been told to resign if he truly loves the party and wants its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to emerge winner in the 2023 general elections.
Party chieftains and stakeholders said this after Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike's group said it will not participate in the Presidential Campaign Council of Atiku Abubakar, except Ayu steps down.
The resolution of the Wike group to pull out of Atiku’s campaign was taken at a meeting held in Wike’s country home in Obio-Akpor on Wednesday night.
The group accused Ayu of compromising the May 28 and 29 presidential primary of the party through his conduct and reneging on his promise to resign if the party’s presidential candidate comes from the North. Prominent members of the group, including founding members of the party, governors, former ministers and other leaders of the party made their stance known in a resolution read by a former Deputy National Chairman of the party, Chief Olabode George.
Speaking with Daily Independent on Thursday, a former minister from the Northern part of the country who is also a member of the PDP’s Board of Trustees said about 70 percent of the leaders of the party want Ayu to step down.
According to him, aside failing to manage the post-convention crisis in the party well, Ayu is responsible for the multiple crises in 12 states which include Edo, Ebonyi, Lagos, Kano, Delta, Abia, Anambra, Enugu, Ekiti, Imo, Akwa Ibom and Rivers. He said there is no way the PDP as an opposition party will win against APC if the likes of Wike, Makinde and others pull out of the campaign.
“At this juncture, I think the best thing for Ayu to do is to do the honourable thing by stepping down. We can’t continue this wrangling and stalemate with just five days to the lifting of ban by INEC. From Ayu’s action and utterances, he doesn’t have the interest of the party at heart. Here is a man who granted an interview on national television saying he is ready to make sacrifices and resign if the presidential candidate comes from the North. Now Atiku has emerged and you refused to do so even when those who made it possible for you to become chairman are asking you to step down”.
Also speaking, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, a former Minister of Transport and PDP chieftain, said rather than resign, Ayu should step aside until the conclusion of the 2023 general elections and another chairman assume his position in acting capacity. Babatope. who admitted that the party is currently not properly structured in terms of positions held, said after the elections, Ayu can then be asked to resume his position.
I believe all those who have spoken on this matter have good points, especially my friend Olabode George. He is arguing in favour of the proper structuring of the federation where every interest is represented. Rather than harm the PDP that has been looking for victory for a long time, we could ask Ayu to step aside not to resign. Whatever the outcome of the election, he comes back to take his position again. That is what I can say.
“I cannot fault my friend of 55 years, Bode George. He wants the best for this party and wants all regions to get proper representation in the PDP. He knows what he is talking about and he is concerned about the unity of Nigeria".
"If Ayu can step aside and then we can then step aside our constitution to ensure that whoever comes in now is going to be there until we finish the general elections and then Ayu continues as national chairman of PDP”.
Meanwhile, barely 24 hours after his team announced a boycott of the presidential campaign of his party, Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has vowed that he will not leave the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for whatever cause and for anybody.
The governor stated that he was rather interested in preserving the sanity of the party and will stay back to fight for the enthronement of unity, inclusivity, equity and peace in the PDP. Governor Wike made the
declaration at the Rivers State PDP stakeholders’ meeting at Government House, Port Harcourt, on Thursday.
The governor said he is a man of character, unlike those who cannot keep their words and walked out of the party at the Eagle Square in Abuja in 2014. “One thing I have always told people is if anybody is thinking, doing anything to think that we will leave PDP, foul. We will do the fight in the party. We are not like them, when in 2014 they walked out from Eagle Square. They’ve forgotten. They walked out and joined APC. Is it not correct?
“Did they remain to fight inside the party? But we remained, they ran away. Now, there is a fight in the party, we will not run. We will fight it in this party. Those who run away from fight are weak people. We will not. So everybody should know this is the state where we are. So that nobody tells you all kind of stories.”