Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has insisted that the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Iyorchia Ayu, must resign his position.
HausaToday earlier reported that the party’s NEC passed a vote of confidence on Ayu at its 97th meeting held in Abuja on Thursday.
This was a sequel to a motion by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu, and seconded by a party stalwart from Kwara State, Ishola Balogun.
Also, the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT) passed a vote on confidence on the Ayu-led National Working Committee (NWC).
Speaking during the commissioning of the Ahoada Campus of the Rivers State University of Science on Thursday, Wike said Ayu must step down in the interest of fairness, equity and justice.
Wike recalled the promise allegedly made by the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar when he won the party primary election in May.
According to Wike, Atiku had assured him that Ayu would vacate his position as party chairman and the position would be zoned to the South.
He said: “If the presidential candidate comes from the North, you (Ayu) will resign. By the convention of our party, the chairman will come from the South. And Ayu said if the presidential candidate comes from the North, he will resign after the convention of our party, and that the chairman of our party will come from the South.
“When the North Central leaders met in the house of Bala Mohammed, Governor of Bauchi State, he said so there. When he met the caucus of the Senate, he told them that.
“Now, when we finished our convention on Sunday, the candidate of the party came to see me in my house in Abuja on Monday around 10:30 am. The candidate told me ‘I want us to work together’, and then he said, look Ayu must go.
“I said why? He said that when a candidate comes from the north, the chairman will come from the South. And I’m saying implement what you told me. What offence have I committed by saying that?
“So I want the presidential candidate to deny this. If he denies it, I will go further to say so many things to Nigerians because enough is enough.
“We can’t continue this way. They were told that the BoT Chairman has resigned. Who’s talking about the Chairman of BoT? What is the role of BoT, just advisory? Not a decision-making body.
“The presidential candidate of the party and the chairman are those who will sit to take decisions. The presidential candidate and chairman of the party are from the North. Who will represent the interests of the South in decision-making?
“Some of you don’t know what is happening. You are being deceived; they are telling you Wike is causing problems. Wike is not causing problems; Wike is bringing peace to the country. Wike is advocating for justice, Wike is advocating for equity, and Wike is advocating for fairness.
“We have finished with the presidential primary. It is over and it is over. So, when people say, ‘You want to destroy the party because you didn’t win the primary’, I think they are sick, they have some mental problem.”
Reacting to Jibrin’s resignation as the Board of Trustees chairman, Wike stated that the decision won’t stop his demand for Ayu’s removal.
Wike said: “One former general went to see the BoT chairman and the candidate too went to see him resign that we’ll give you advisory position. The BoT position is already advisory.
‘’What advisory position is he going to give him? That is to insult us. And all of us are here. Our people are there, not knowing what is happening. You think it’s Wike. It is you.
‘’It is your children. How can we be here, the chairman and presidential candidate will meet, they will take a decision, and nobody represents us. Just wait, pray let them win, then you will see.
“Why are they being so arrogant? I can tell you they are arrogant because they believe somebody in the presidency is backing them. But, what they don’t understand is the same person in the presidency backed somebody as APC presidential aspirant and the person failed.
‘’I will tell Nigerians at the appropriate time who the person is in the presidency that is backing them. “Some of you don’t know what’s happening in the country. You’re being deceived, they’ll tell you, this Wike is causing the problem, Wike is not causing the problem. Wike is bringing peace to this country. Wike is advocating justice, Wike is advocating equity, and Wike is advocating development.
“We have finished the presidential primaries. It is over. So when people said you want to destroy the party, because you didn’t win the primary, I think they’re sick. They have some mental problems.”