PoliticsWike, Ayu Face-off Deepens PDP Crisis

Wike, Ayu Face-off Deepens PDP Crisis

  Ask ZiVA 728x90 Ads

The crisis rocking the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is getting messy as the party’s National Chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, who is at the centre of the crisis, has said that those who were calling for his resignation were still children when he and other persons founded the party.

The altercation between Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and Ayu may clearly aggravate the crisis currently rocking the party. It may elongate the crisis further, rather than cooling it, with a few days left to the September 28 date for the kick-off of Presidential /National Assembly campaigns.

Ayu has said that he will not resign his position because he sees no reason for him to do so. He reiterated his resolve not to resign but serve out his four-year tenure, saying that Atiku Abubakar’s emergence as presidential candidate does not affect his position as National Chairman of the party.

Other state governors in Wike’s camp demanding Ayu’s resignation are Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Samuel Ortom of Benue and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia). The governors argue that since the presidential candidate of the party is from the North, the National Chairman cannot come from the same region.

Speaking last Thursday at the inauguration of roads in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, Wike said those who Ayu described as children were the ones who made him chairman of the party.

He warned that if Ayu refuses to resign, it may cost the PDP the 2023 presidential election.

“You can imagine what power can do. You can imagine how ingratitude — how people can be ingrates in their lives. I thought that as the chairman of a political party who wants to win elections, your business is to bring peace to your party, not to divide your party. Your business is not to show arrogance to your party.

“Yes, the children brought you to be chairman of the party. The children brought you from the gutter to make you chairman. Ayu, you were impeached as Senate President. You were sacked by Obasanjo during his administration. Arrogance cannot take you anywhere. Now, we have seen that you don’t want the party to win the election. We will help you,” Wike addressed Ayu.

Wike had earlier said that the PDP won’t get votes from Rivers State without a clear reward. His group has criticised Ayu over his comments, telling him to respect the party’s constitution on power rotation and stop being power-drunk.

It would be recalled that at a recent London meeting with PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar, Wike and his supporters insisted on Ayu’s resignation from office and a commitment that Atiku will serve for only one term if he emerges president.

Wike and his camp want a southerner as party chairman since the party’s presidential candidate is from the North, as stated in the party’s constitutional provision on power rotation.

Also beyond the Wike group, former Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, Chief Olabode George had also called for Ayu’s resignation to ensure the balancing of party offices along the North-South divide.

George expressed the opinion that occupation of key party offices only by the North, a position corroborated by the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT) Chairman, Senator Walid Jibrin, is not in tandem with the founding principle of the party, which was based on regional balancing.

Speaking in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, on Thursday, George said it was unfair for the National Chairman, presidential candidate and Chairman BoT of the PDP to be from the same region.

He said the right thing to do is for Ayu to vacate his seat before election campaigns begin, as it will not be right to go into the campaigns with a divided house.

According to him, what Wike is asking for is the right thing, in the interest of justice, peace and unity of the party.

Also an ally of Wike and former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ogbonna Nwuke, said Ayu won his position on the basis of the PDP constitution and knows the right thing to do to save the party.

Nwuke said, “There are over 40 million youths, who are going to vote in the 2023 election and those are the people Ayu is calling children. It means that children will vote in this election and children may punish people like him for not keeping to the rules of engagement.

“It is amazing that a national chairman of a political party, such as the PDP, will make such an unguarded comment. It is a shame. It shows how power-drunk some of these people are.

“Now, Ayu claims that he won an election. Nobody is going to argue with that. He won on the basis of the party’s constitution. What does the constitution say? I think Ayu is just trying to be clever by half. He won on the basis of power rotation.”

According to him, now that there is a northern presidential candidate, the only reasonable thing to do is that the constitution recognises the fact that when the presidency is in the North, the chairmanship will be in the South.

“I don’t know why it is difficult for him to make the sacrifice that the PDP needs now to move forward.”

Also a close associate of Wike told THEWILL , on the condition of anonymity, that the PDP national chairman had before now agreed to step down from office if the presidential candidate of the party emerged from the North.

“It is very unfortunate that the national chairman of an opposition party can sound this arrogant. The current situation in the party has only brought to the fore the fact that these spent forces, who hitherto were in political dungeons and were suddenly resuscitated, are full of envy of those who brought them to power.

“How can the national chairman, the candidate and the chairman of the BOT all come from the North. What will the South say to its people?”

A socio-political group, the One Nigeria Movement (ONM) has said that it is uncharitable and the height of arrogance for the PDP National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, to describe those calling for his resignation as people who were children when the party was being formed.

The group said it was funny that the same Ayu, who abandoned PDP for Action Congress (AC) in 2007 and worked against the PDP, can still refer to himself as founding father of the party.

According to a statement on Wednesday, by its Convener-General, Ahmed Sodiq-Mugoro and Secretary, Babatunde Aliyu, ONM, the group described Ayu as a father who left his house and abandoned his children only to come back years after and be claiming authority over the house that the children he abandoned prevented from collapsing.

“If others had left the party in 2007 like Ayu did, will there be a PDP for him to preside over with an aura of arrogance as he is doing? PDP was formed in 1998 and as at that time, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State would be 32 years. So in the estimation of Ayu, a 32 year-old man is a kid?

“As at 1992, when Ayu was Senate President, how old was he? Was he not just 40 years-old? Was he not a Minister at 44? Did he not also come back to be minister at 57? So when he was Senate President at 40, was he called a kid? Was he a kid when he was a minister at 44?

“To us, elders like Ayu, who look down on the people around them, as if they are his children, are not fit to be at the helm of affairs of reasonable people and we blame the likes of Governor Wike for bringing him out of his farm where he was already living as a retired politician and made him PDP chairman,” the group said.

While advising Atiku to dissociate himself from the offensive and insulting statement of Ayu, the ONM, said it was either Atiku dissociate himself or be seen as someone who also sees even a 50 years-old Nigerian as a kid, just like Ayu.

It would be recalled that a peace meeting was recently held in London between Wike and Atiku Abubakar.

But on their return to the country, Wike has continued to make comments, which indicate that the misunderstanding between both camps had not been resolved.

The friction between Atiku and Wike started shortly after the former picked Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, as his running mate over the Rivers State governor, who was said to have the backing of most party leaders and a committee that was set up to screen those picked for the post of vice presidential candidate.

The lingering crisis has rendered the birthing of the PDP Presidential Council, ahead of the commencement of presidential campaigns on September 28, impossible.

The situation has also caused confusion and created divisions within key party organs and groups, including the National Working Committee (NWC), Board of Trustees (BoT), the Governors’ Forum and state chapters of the party.

However, Ayu while featuring on BBC Hausa Service last Wednesday, rebuffed calls for his resignation, declaring that Atiku’s candidacy did not in any way affect him as the national chairman of the PDP.

He stressed that even if the presidential candidate had come from his native Benue State, it still would not have affected his tenure in office.

He said, “I stood for election and I won the election and I am fixing the party. I have not stolen anything. I have not committed any offence. We will not allow one person to come and spoil the party for us with frivolous calls and conditions.

“I was elected as PDP national chairman for a four-year term and I have spent up to one year. So the call for my resignation is uncalled for. The election of Atiku Abubakar as the PDP presidential candidate cannot affect my election as national chairman, even if the candidate is from Benue State. I stood for election and I was voted for by Nigerians.”

Asked about the condition put forward by Wike’s camp for his resignation, among others, Ayu said, “All that he is doing does not affect me because I know I am fixing the party. I am doing my work diligently. I have not committed any offence. I have not stolen any money. So there is no reason for my resignation. When we started the PDP all those ones were children; they were not there. We will not allow one person to become a spoiler. This is our country, so all that is expected of us is to fix the country, provide security and dividends of democracy when we take over power in 2023.”

Wike had however declared that unless Rivers State is rewarded just like Adamawa, Benue and Delta States, the party should not expect votes from the people of the state.

The governor said, “Nobody should come and deceive you. No amount of social media war can solve any problem. Anybody who wants our vote must tell us what is there for us. Our votes are no longer for dash. Our votes are for you to tell us what you will do for us.

“So, if you have given to Adamawa, Benue and Delta, why can’t you give to Rivers? Won’t you give to Rivers? Is it just to come and collect the votes?

“You know the god of confusion will put confusion in them. They think that they are doing (bad to) Rivers State, but they are doing themselves. They will see confusion from now till the end until they withdraw and understand that there is no road there,” he said.

The governor vowed that no amount of money or threat to his life would make him to betray his people, adding that he would stand by his actions.

Website | + posts


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More like this

Only Qualified Civil Service Directors Will Be Appointed Perm Secs – Bayelsa Govt

March 31, (THEWILL) – The Bayelsa State Government...

UEFA Punish Eintracht Frankfurt, Nantes For Fan Misconduct

March 31, (THEWILL) – Eintracht Frankfurt has been...

Argentina Submits Bid To Host U-20 World Cup After FIFA Withdraws Indonesia’s Hosting Rights

March 31, (THEWILL) – Argentina has formally submitted...