fbpx
2023Politics

Wike’s camp pulls out of Atiku’s campaign, insists Ayu must go

  • I can’t decide Ayu’s resignation, Atiku says

The camp of Governor Nyesom Wike in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has officially announced its withdrawal from participating in the presidential campaign of the party for the 2023 elections.

The group made its position known after a long meeting which started at about 7pm last night and ended by past 2am this morning at the private residence of Wike in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

Members of the group said none of them will participate in whatever capacity in the campaign council unless the National Chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu, resigns for a southern candidate.

Some members of the group were recently appointed as leaders and members of the campaign council for the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

Present at this defining gathering at Wike’s residence in Port Harcourt include  Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State; 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, Mohammed Adoke.

Others at the meeting are elder statesmen, Olabode George, Jerry Gana; South-South Chairman of the PDP, Dan Orbih; former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chibudom Nwuche; Senator Suleiman Nazif, Nnenna Ukeje, among several others.

After over seven hours of private meeting from 7pm on Tuesday, September 20 to past 2am on Wednesday September 21, they gather to briefing journalists on the outcome, with George stating the shocker.

I can’t decide Ayu’s resignation, Atiku says

Meanwhile, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, says he can’t decide the resignation of the party’s national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu.

“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,” Atiku said in a statement hours after the camp of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State pulled out of his presidential campaign council for the 2023 general elections, insisting that Ayu must go for a southerner to step in.

“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 everything 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,” Atiku added.

Atiku, however, urged “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”.

Back Story

For months, Wike and his allies have continued to call for Ayu’s resignation after Atiku (from Adamawa State) trounced the Rivers State governor at the PDP primary in May and emerged the presidential candidate of the party.

Wike and his loyalists have argued that northerners cannot hold the two most important posts in the main opposition party.

Ayu, who hails from Benue State also in northern Nigeria, had in October 2021 said he would vacate the chairmanship seat if the region produces the PDP presidential candidate.

However, the chairman said he won’t resign and will be in office till the end of his four-year tenure.

Earlier, then-PDP Board of Trustees Chairman, Walid Jibrin, and a northerner from Nasarawa State agreed that it is unfair for the party to have its presidential candidate and national chairman from the same region.

The decision of the Rivers governor’s camp comes some days to September 28, the official date for candidates to kick-off campaign as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission. (Channels Television)

Show More

Leave a comment

Back to top button