War without end in PDP
Daily Sun gathered that the team’s decision was the outcome of a meeting at the private residence of Governor Wike in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area.
Members of the team vowed not to partake in Atiku’s campaign activities until Iyorchia Ayu, a northerner, resigns and allow an acting national chairman from the south.
The aggrieved party stalwarts comprising founding members, sitting governors, former ministers and other leaders made their position known in a resolution read by former deputy national chairman, Olabode George.
They maintained that their position was not negotiable as the chairmanship of Ayu undermined the unity and constitution of the party.
The Wike group, which include Governor Samuel Ortom, Benue; Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Enugu; Okezie Ikpeazu, Abia and Seyi Makinde, Oyo as well as some former governors, former ministers, former and serving members of the National Assembly, amongst others, have been at loggerheads with the PDP and Atiku in the aftermath of the nomination of the opposition party’s presidential candidate and his running mate, Ifeanyi Okowa. They have continued to insist on the replacement of Ayu to create a North/South in the PDP, ahead of the 2023 general elections, as a condition for reconciliation.
But Ayu, who enjoys Atiku’s support, as well as the support of some leaders of the party from the North, have continued to insist he would not resign as he was elected for a four-year tenure.
Reading the resolution, George said they were deeply concerned about the division in the PDP despite the its age-long internal mechanism designed to guarantee inclusiveness.
“We are aware that over the years our party has developed conflict resolution mechanisms that guarantee inclusiveness. The published presidential campaign council list translates to putting the cat before the horse. The pertinent issue remains the resolution of the leadership.
“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.”
They further accused Ayu of compromising the May 28 and 29 presidential primary of the party through his conduct.
Former Plateau State governor, Senator Jonah Jang, likened Ayu to a bad referee, who assisted one side to score a goal during a football match and later blew the whistle.
“For a national chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, to go and embrace Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, 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.”
They said their support for Wike was neither because he lost the presidential primary not because he was not chosen as the vice-presidential running mate but because of equity and justice in the party.
Former minister of information, Prof. Jerry Gana, said if the party intended to restructure Nigeria it should have the courage to restructure itself.
“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 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, said: “We hope that the powers that be listen to the voice of reason and do the needful.”
•I can’t force him to resign, Atiku replies
But Atiku, in his reaction, said he was surprised at the decision of the aggrieved party leaders to withdraw from the presidential campaign, as all the state chapters had earlier forwarded names of their nominees for inclusion in the campaign council.
The former vice president, while stressing the need for all party members to close ranks, ahead of the polls, said the issue of Ayu’s resignation was a personal matter.
Atiku, in a statement he personally signed, said “early this morning, my attention was drawn to a news clip in which several very senior and influential members of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), addressed the press and, amongst other things, declared that they are withdrawing, forthwith, from the Presidential Campaign Council set up by our party to judiciously plan and prosecute the general elections set to hold in February and March 2023, on the one hand; and reiterated their earlier calls for the resignation or removal from office of the national chairman of our party, Senator Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, on the other hand.
“The people that addressed the press must have their reasons for withdrawing from the Presidential Campaign Council, and I will not speculate as to what those reasons may be. Personally, I am quite surprised with this withdrawal because, as I have been informed by officials of our party, apart from the Rivers State chapter of the PDP, all the remaining states of the federation submitted names of people who they wanted included in the Presidential Campaign Council.
“On the calls for the resignation or removal from office of our national chairman, however, I must reiterate what I have said severally in public and in private; the decision for Dr. Iyorchia Ayu to resign from office is personal to Dr. Ayu and, neither I nor anyone else can make that decision for him.
“As to the calls for the removal of Dr. Ayu from office, however, I will state that, as a committed democrat and firm believer in the rule of law and democratic tenets, and our party being one set up, organized and regulated by law and our constitution, it is my absolute belief that every thing that we do in our party must be done in accordance with, and conformity to, the law and our constitution.
“If Dr. Ayu is to be removed from office, it must be done in accordance with the laws that set out the basis for such removal. In any event, you will all recall that the very body that is empowered by law to initiate this removal from office, has already passed a vote of confidence in him.
“Now, our nation is currently in the throes of a multidimensional crisis encompassing insecurity, economic meltdown, disunity and mutual mistrust and educational dislocations, to mention a few. I have a plan to address these issues and I have, graciously, been given the ticket to lead our great party in next year’s presidential elections, with the singular mandate to come and lead the efforts to cure these ills.
“It is in this light that I have reached out to every single member of our great party to join me in the massive undertaking required to reset the ship of state, and help rebuild our country. Every single person who loves this country, as I do, is needed for the arduous tasks that face us ahead as a nation, and this includes every member of the PDP. And it is my fervent hope and prayer that every man and woman of goodwill will join hands with us to help rebuild and reposition our beloved country.
“In this light, therefore, I will urge those members of our party that have stated their resolve to withdraw from the Presidential Campaign Council to have a rethink, retrace their steps, and join us in these efforts.
“The above notwithstanding, and for the sake of our country, our children, and those yet unborn, we must not, for one minute, shirk in our responsibilities to rebuild this beloved country of ours.
“Accordingly, we must forge on with the task and the mandate that we have been bestowed with. It is time, therefore, to move on with the formidable tasks of nation building ahead of us.”
•Peace committee pledges quick resolution
The Board of Trustee (BoT) and Chairman, Peace Committee of the the party, Senator Adolphus Wabara, has called on all members to embrace peace in the interest of Nigerians
He stated this when he led members of his peace committee on a consultation and reconciliation meeting to Governor Samuel Ortom in Makurdi.
Wabara who noted that every family has its own problems said everyone must agree to work together for peace to reign just as he pledged that his committee would see to the quick resolution of the issues.
“The Lord is in control. There is no family without problems and that is exactly why we have came, to be heard, to encourage us with suggestions.
“As I said earlier, there is no problems without solution. We should just watch our utterances, because we will all come back to the same table in the interest of Nigerians.
“It is only PDP that can deliver this nation, that can provide dividends of democracy like we did 16 years when we were in power. You know, God just asked us to give way, eight years, for Nigerians to judge for themselves.
He acknowledged that the aggrieved members have very strong points saying “we will look at it as the conscience of the party and come out with a decision very soon.
He described Ortom as courageous and expressed hope that his advise and suggestions would bring peace to the party.
Governor Ortom who noted that he was also and aggrieved party, commended the Senator Wabara led peace committee for their efforts to resolve the crisis.
“I have been with Wike. We are friends. We are colleagues and we share common understanding on these issues. I commend the BOT for taking these steps because reconciliation is very key and that is why I said that the party leadership would have deployed its internal conflict resolution mechanism long ago. I commend this effort, reaching out, discussing and dialoguing.
“Politics as I know, over 40 years of practice, is full of conflict but you must get to discussing it and finding solutions. People have diverse interest. You must look at it and see how there can be a win win.
“But treating people as if they are nothing or they have no value, does not make sense to me. So, that is what the BOT is trying to do and I believe they have seen me, we have discussed, they are also going to see other governors and I believe that at the end of the day, we shall do something that will bring us together.”
•Join us in APC FaniKayode makes overtures to Wike’s group
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Femi Fani-Kayode has asked Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike and other aggrieved members of the PDP who pulled out of the presidential campaign to join ranks with the APC and its presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
“The only way forward for the Wike group is to come out of the shadows and support Asiwaju for the presidential campaign and get their supporters to vote for his candidacy. It is a matter of honor. They took everything from them including their self-respect and dignity. What more do they have left and what are they waiting for? Honestly my sympathies, heart and pity go out to the Wike group. They are being treated like filth by their own party. They literally had no choice but to pull out of the Atiku campaign. Yet I saw all this coming long ago. The PDP is a party that is no longer national and does not even pretend to have respect for Southerners. It is a party that is incapable of rewarding loyalty and keeping its word. It is a party that begins and ends in the North and every Southerner and Middle Belter that is still there is nothing but a quisling and a stooge.”
In a statement, the former Minister of Aviation urged Wike and his group to work for Tinubu’s victory because they would face greater persecution under an Atiku presidency.
“If Atiku wins the election he will come after them with all he has got and utterly crush and destroy them. Even if Atiku or Okowa themselves are not interested in doing so the hawks around them like Sule Lamido, Attahiru Bafarawa and Adamu Waziri will ensure this is done. For the Wike group the threat is now existential.”
Each and every one of them has been marked for destruction and humiliation by the new leaders of their party. PDP is not only a menace to their own loyal members but a very real and present danger to Nigeria.”
Fani Kayode further said that he left the PDP when he discovered that the party had strayed away from the path of a national party it was under former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan, and added that the current leadership of the party is out to marginalise the South.
“Why do you think I left the PDP in the first place? This is not the PDP of Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua or Goodluck Jonathan. This is a dying and decaying fly and maggot infested carcass and a pitiful shadow and shell of its former self. It is a party with no morals or decency that treats those that stood by it, helped it, and fought for it over the years with contempt and disdain. It is a party that does not believe in or understand the importance of building bridges of peace, love and understanding between the North and the South and ensuring fairness, justice, and equity for all.”