The governor of Rivers State, Mr. Nyesom Wike, has said that there is no let-up in the demand for the removal of the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Iyorchia Ayu until he (Ayu) is removed from office.
The governor spoke yesterday during a meeting with stakeholders of the party across the 319 wards of the state at the banquet hall of the government house in Port Harcourt.
He said he and his group would leave but would not drop the demand for Ayu’s ouster.
Recall that members of the team met from September 20-21 at Wike’s private residence in Rumuepirikom, Obio-Akpor Council of Rivers State and agreed not to participate in Atiku Abubakar’s presidential campaign activities pending the resignation of Ayu.
The meeting was held barely a week after the party appointed some members of the group into Atiku’s campaign committee where Wike was named as a member and the governor of Oyo State, Mr. Seyi Makinde, was listed as the vice chairman (south).
Party members who attended the meeting were the governor of Oyo State, Mr. Seyi Makinde, former Governors Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo, Ayo Fayose of Ekiti, Donald Duke of Cross River, Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe, and Jonah Jang of Plateau, former attorney general of the federation and minister of justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke and former deputy national chairman of the party (southwest), Mr. Bode George.
Also in attendance were former minister of information, Prof Jerry Gana, south-south chairman of the PDP, Mr. Dan Orbih, former deputy Speaker of the house representative, Mr. Chibudom Nwuche,
Wike, while interacting with the party’s stakeholders in the state said he and his group would remain in the party to fight for its preservation and enthronement of unity, inclusiveness, equity and peace.
The governor wondered how the PDP, which could not unite the party, was promising to unify Nigeria.
He said in a statement by his media aide, Mr. Kelvin Ebiri that it is wrong for the party’s presidential candidate, national chairman, and presidential campaign DG to be from the same region.
“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 fights 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.
“You have taken presidential candidate; you have taken party chairman; you have also taken the DG (director-general) of the campaign. We are talking about party politics. Decisions are made by the presidential candidate, chairman of the party, and the DG of the campaign.
“They are telling you they told the chairman of the BoT to resign. So, you know there is a problem. You said he should go and resign. You can put pressure on him to resign when his tenure hasn’t come to an end, but you cannot put pressure on the chairman to resign. You think at our level you will deceive us; you’ll tell us stories.”
Wike further said he would use his media chat on Friday (today) to expose the bad characters in the PDP who pride themselves as national leaders.
He said after the interaction it would be left for Nigerians to decide if such people were still worthy of the ovation accorded to them.
Meanwhile, George urged Atiku to have a rethink on the composition of the party and allow justice, fairness and equity to prevail.
He warned that the party’s interest superimposes all other private and personal interests.
The PDP chieftain said it is a contradiction that Atiku, who sees himself as a unifier, could not resolve the issues in the party in an amicable way, adding that the thinking that the southerners do not matter for him to emerge as president is insensitive.
“This party stands on a tripod: justice, fairness and equity. We wrapped it up and called it inclusivity. A three-legged body is a stable platform.
“You are telling us that it doesn’t matter, that the south doesn’t matter and that you have some friends in the south. If that is your attitude in managing this country, does that make sense? A leader must be humble and respect the will of the people because it is the votes of these people multiplied that will get you to the villa.
“During the discussion last night (Tuesday), everybody still stated emphatically that they will remain PDP members and they are not ready to go anywhere. We are sending a signal for them to rethink; the party interest superimposes all other private and personal interests,” he said.
For his part, spokesman for the Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, pleaded with the Wike group to reconsider their steps, especially, yesterday’s decision to pull out of the council.
“The issues they have raised are the same issues they have raised before now. We have examined the issues before and it was part of efforts to resolve it that the then chairman of the party’s BoT resigned his position.
“The other issues they are raising, as leaders of the party, we believe they understand the position of the party’s Constitution regarding them. Except they feel there are other solutions that will not go against the tenets of that constitution. It may not augur well to offend the position of the party, because you may not know the mind of some individuals who may want to go to court to challenge it.
“Even if some people may feel okay and do not activate that process, anybody that has the locus standi can decide to do so and that would plunge the party into crisis. That is why we have been pleading that we should all join hands and prosecute the coming elections, thereafter we can again look at those issues they have raised, which we believe is within their democratic rights.”