PDP Crisis – Ayu must Go: Ayu Had Private Arrangements With Tambuwal To ‘Shortchange’ Wike — Bode George, Others Allege
The crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has taken a turn for the worse as the camp of the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has said the resignation of Iyorchia Ayu as National Chairman of the party is the minimum condition to be met by the party before it can join the presidential campaign team.
The group also claimed that Ayu may have connived with Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal, to ensure Wike did not win the PDP Presidential primary.
The campaign council of the PDP was set up last week to be chaired by Akwa Ibom State governor, Udom Emmanuel, while his Sokoto State counterpart, Aminu Tambuwal, is the Director General.
Some members of the Wike camp were included in the campaign team ahead of the presidential election campaign kicking off on September 28.
At a meeting late Tuesday which spilled over to Wednesday morning, the camp opposed the continuous stay of Ayu as National Chairman, declaring that it has pulled out of the campaign council of the PDP, in what is certainly a blow to the campaign for the presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
Atiku has insisted that if Ayu must leave, it must be done in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, with regards to the conduct and management of political parties and the guiding principles and constitution of the party, the PDP.
Ayu is being accused of compromising the leadership of the party and also the concentration of key party positions in the North, a section of the country Ayu comes from.
The Wike camp is insisting that the presidential candidate of the party can not come from the same section of the country as the national chairman.
Arising from the meeting early Wednesday, the group made its resolution known through a former Deputy National Chairman of the party.
Reading the resolutions, George said: “We resolve that we are deeply concerned by the division in our party.
“The published presidential campaign council list translates to putting the cart before the horse.
“The pertinent issue remains the resolution of the leadership which is a departure of ‘Senator Iyorchia Ayu must resign as the National Chairman of the party for an acting Chairman of the Southern Nigerian extraction to emerge and lead the party on the national campaign.
“Consequently, we resolve not to participate in the campaign council in whatever capacity until the resignation of Dr Iyorchia Ayu”.
Also speaking, former Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang, accused Ayu of compromising the May 28 and 29 presidential primaries of the party through his conduct.
“For a National Chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu to go and embrace Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tanbuwal, calling him the hero of the convention meant that there was a private arrangement that was done with Tambuwal to shortchange other contestants including Governor Wike.
“Here was a referee, who helped one of his sides to score a goal and then blew the whistle. This is not what we formed the PDP to do for Nigerians. Therefore, we unequivocally ask that Ayu must step down”.
Also, a former Minister of Information, Jerry Gana, took a swipe at Ayu saying, “You cannot build on a faulty foundation.
“This call for the chairman to step down or resign is not because any of us is aggrieved but because we believe it is important to ensure a just, fair, principled and constitutional structure for the party.
“If we want to restructure Nigeria, we should have the courage to restructure our party”.
Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde also added his voice saying, “We hope that the powers that be listen to the voice of reason and do the needful.”