By Uche Amunike
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman, Iyorcha Ayu, has lashed out at a group of governors and former governors of the party, headed by Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike who have called for him to resign and allow a southerner replace him, referring to them as ‘children’ who know nothing about how and why the party was formed.
He made this assertion during an interview with the BBC Hausa Service, Wednesday in reaction to the complaints coming from Governor Wike’s group concerning what they termed the imbalance in the party’s leadership, as the PDP Chairman, Ayu, the Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar and even the heads of the major organs of the PDP all hail from the North.
The party leaders also accused the PDP Chairman of being a divisive and partial leader, to which he referred to them as ‘Children’ who wanted to destroy the party, even though they knew nothing about the struggle that led to the formation of the party.
Recall that a meeting was held in London, at the Park Lane Carlton Hotel, last week Thursday between Atiku and Wike’s camp concerning the crisis in the major opposition party. Among those from Governor Wike’s side at the meeting were Governors Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Samuel Ortom of Benue State and Okezie Ikpeazu of Abuja State. Governor Ahmad Fintiri was in the company of the PDP Presidential flag bearer, Atiku Abubakar.
According to sources at the meeting, the Wike group made it clear that they would only negotiate with Atiku Abubakar for support, if the PDP chairman, Mr. Ayu stepped down for a candidate from a southern zone of the country.
One of the governors, while speaking on behalf of the Wike group, stated that Atiku stepping down for a southerner, will ensure that the lopsidedness in the party’s leadership is corrected before campaigns commence. Aside from that, it was also in line with a promise made by the PDP Chairman, Ayu, before he was elected by consensus at the PDP National Convention in 2021.
The governor also pointed accusing fingers at Ayu for polarizing the PDP, stating that even though Atiku Abubakar described him as a unifier of the party, the former Senate President turned out to be the most divisive Chairman ever had in the history of the party.
In reaction, the PDP Chairman said that party members elected him, being fully guided by the guidelines given by the party, adding that during the convention, party leaders agreed that they would not consider the zone where the PDP Chairman hailed from, when electing the presidential candidate.
Hear him: ‘I was elected for a tenure of four years. I am even yet to complete a year in the office. The election of Atiku Abubakar as the presidential candidate did not bother the seat of the party chairman. I won the election and it is based on the party’s constitution.
‘I did not commit any offence, I am committed to my work, and I don’t bother about the noise going on’.
He also dispelled the sentiments about the present crisis in the party, preventing the PDP from winning in the next general election.