By Uche Amunike
The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike has thrown a challenge to the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Iyiorcha Ayu, to stop any aspiring PDP candidate from contesting the 2023 election.
Speaking to newsmen in Port Harcourt, Sunday, Governor Wike responded to statements credited to the PDP National Chairman, that he has the right to stop those that were fighting him from contesting the presidential election, come 2023.
Nyesom Wike stated that Dr Ayu had no power to stop any of the candidates from running for office of President at the poll, in 2023.
Hear him: ‘The statement credited to the PDP National Chairman that he has the right to stop any candidate from contesting election is very unfortunate. Nobody said that Ayu should be sacked. By our constitution, there is zoning for political parties. There is no way a party candidate and the National Chairman of a party can come from the same place. Nobody is interested in sacking Dr Iyorchia Ayu what we are saying is that the National Chairman of PDP should concede to the agreement reached that he should resign the moment the presidential candidate emerged.’
‘Nobody said he is sacking anybody. What we are saying is that he should keep to the agreement. If you said that you are not keeping to the promise, no problem. I heard when he said that he would have stopped Ortom from contesting, a man that brought you and pleaded that you should be made Chairman. Ortom stood as a guarantee for Ayu to become the National Chairman of the PDP.’
‘You see how ungrateful human beings can be. This was the same Governor Ortom who pleaded with us to say I can take the risk of letting Ayu become national chairman, without being greedy.
‘The agreement by PDP governors was that no national chairman should come from where a governor comes from. We agreed on that, but Ortom came. And as a man we respect, he said I want to promote my people in national politics. We said okay, on your honour we let him (Ayu) be,” he said.
‘This is a man who never campaigned anywhere, never printed a poster to be national chairman. Even money they gave him to print posters, he never printed any. And he (Ayu) is the one saying if he wanted to stop who brought him, a man who stood as a guarantor for him, he could have done so.’
He also stated: ‘I dare him to come to Rivers State and stop any candidate from contesting the election. Do we really want to win election? The party is really in a dilemma. The presidential candidate of the party comes from the north and if you said that you will not keep to the agreement so be it. I will not be a party to anybody that wants to use me to be relevant.’
‘I have been in PDP and have never left the party. I dare him, Ayu, again to stop any candidate from contesting an election. He knows that he cannot do that he has no such power. Let him come to Rivers State and stop anybody. I dare him to do that,’ Governor Nyesom Wike concluded.