No End In Sight For PDP Crisis As Wike, Ayu Return To Trenches

The cracks in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seem to be widening   as the party’s national chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, yesterday said the PDP governors, led by Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, who are seeking his resignation from office, were still children when he and other leaders formed the party.

Ayu reiterated his resolve not to resign but serve out his four-year tenure, adding that Atiku Abubakar’s emergence as presidential candidate does not affect his position as national chairman of the party.

The governors in Wike’s camp are Samuel Ortom (Benue), Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia).

Wike, however, fired back at the party yesterday, saying it won’t get votes from Rivers State without a clear reward.

Wike’s supporters also yesterday criticized Ayu over his comments, telling him to respect the party’s constitution on power rotation and stop being power-drunk.


At the recent London meeting with PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar, Wike and the supporters were said to have 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, according to the party’s constitutional provision on power rotation.

However, beyond the Wike group, a PDP chieftain, Chief Olabode George had joined calls for Ayu to resign to ensure balancing of party offices along regional lines. He lamented the occupation of key party offices by the North, a position corroborated by PDP Board of Trustees (BoT) chairman, Senator Walid Jibrin.

However, days after the London peace meeting, Wike has continued to make comments indicating that the misgiving between their camps had not been resolved.

The friction between Atiku and Wike started shortly after the former picked Delta State governor Senator Ifeanyi Okowa as his running mate over the Rivers State governor who enjoyed more backing from party leaders.

The impasse has since stalled the formation of the party’s presidential council ahead of the commencement of presidential campaigns on September 28.

The situation has also caused confusion and division 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 the BBC Hausa Service programme monitored in Kaduna, yesterday, rebuffed calls for his resignation, declaring that Atiku’s candidacy does 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 Abubakar Atiku 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,” Ayu said.

When asked about condition put forward by the Rivers State governor, Ezenwo Nyesom 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.”

On the return of a former Kano State governor, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau, to PDP, the party’s national chairman said, “Ibrahim Shekarau’s return to PDP is a welcome development. He is a straightforward person; he left his party to come to our party because he knows PDP is the one that will fix the country. Both Senator Shekarau and his men will be accommodated in the party’s activities in the state accordingly because they are all PDP men and women now.”


Rivers Won’t Vote For PDP Without Reward – Wike

In a related development, Wike yesterday 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.

He alleged that a leader of the PDP, who he did not name, was lobbying to become the chief of staff to the presidential candidate of the party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, if he wins the 2023 presidential election.

Wike spoke yesterday during the flag-off of the construction of internal roads in Igwurita Community in Ikwerre local government area, which was performed by Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu.

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, you have given to Benue, you have given to Delta, why can’t you give to Rivers? Won’t you give to Rivers? Just to come and collect the votes, far, far, far, foul!

“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 will make him betray his people, adding that he stands by whatever action he takes.

He also spoke on the attitude of some politicians.

“What do they tell their children? People who like to eat their own share, eat their children’s share, eat their grandchildren’s share.

“When somebody at the age of eighty-something years is lobbying to be chief of staff; what will his own children lobby for? I have said time will come when Nigerians will know these types of characters, characters that will like to say all kinds of things because of power. Characters that will be agents of destroying their own people.

“They don’t care even if their people are destroyed. Let it be that they have something. May God forgive them. They should take one day, fast and pray for their forgiveness because they are almost doomed.”

Wike also asserted that he would not be swayed by money or threats to betray his supporters in the politics of 2023.

Wike vowed that the votes of the people of the state in the 2023 general election will never go to those who refused to recognise Rivers State in the sharing of opportunities.


Obey PDP Constitution, Vacate Office -Wike’s Camp Tells Ayu

Meanwhile, Governor Wike’s supporters have told party chairman Dr Iyorchia Ayu to obey the party’s constitution on rotation of office and vacate the office of national chairman.

Speaking with LEADERSHIP in Port Harcourt yesterday, 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 you 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.”

Speaking with LEADERSHIP also, chairman of Emohua local government area of Rivers State, Dr. Chidi Lloyd, said it was very unfortunate that Ayu could speak in such a manner.

Lloyd stated that the PDP national chairman had before now agreed to step down from office if the presidential candidate of the party emerges from the Northern part of the country.

He said: “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.

“Ayu himself agreed that should the presidential candidate come from the north, he would step down in other to ensure even spread of offices. 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?”

He further accused Ayu of being so carried away with the lure of office that he was already behaving like the chairman of a party in power.

“I hope he is able to rally the party to victory like this. He is not bothered that Kano and                                                                                                                           Lagos do not look like our strongholds; he’s already boasting how he will sweep the south west; with what, I don’t know,” he said.


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