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PDP crisis: Wike hits Ayu again as Makinde Tackles Atiku


PDP crisis: Wike hits Ayu again as Makinde Tackles Atiku

The Nation Newspaper

Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike declared yesterday that the recent vote of confidence passed in the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Iyorchia Ayu, by the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) amounts to nothing.

Wike said the action of the PDP NEC would not save Ayu in any way.

He told the immediate past chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, and others said to have been jubilating over the move to save Ayu that they should not forget so soon what became of similar efforts in the past.

Wike, who has been insisting on the ouster of the PDP chairman, spoke on a day the Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organisation came short of confirming that Ayu would not yield to the demand for him to resign as a condition for reconciliation in the party.

Spokesman of the organisation, Mr Charles Aniagwu, said the PDP would be thrown into a constitutional crisis if Ayu were to leave now.

Also speaking on the PDP crisis, Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde said he did not see how the party could restructure Nigeria when it could not restructure itself.

Receiving defectors from the All Progressives Congress (APC) into the PDP in Port Harcourt yesterday, Wike said the vote of confidence passed in Ayu would not stop him (governor) and others from insisting that the prevailing structural imbalance in the party must be addressed.

He mocked Secondus, his strong ally before they parted ways, for reportedly jubilating over the NEC’s decision on Ayu, and reminded him that a similar vote of confidence did not save him (Secondus) from being removed as PDP chairman.

Wike said: “I was listening and watching; they said there is one man they call Secondus. They said he was dancing, celebrating that NEC gave their person vote of confidence.

“He forgets history. Ask him: the same NEC through Aliyu Babangida moved a vote of confidence supported by the same person, Ndudi Elumelu. They gave you (Secondus) a vote of confidence, what happened? You left office.

“We don’t fight and go back. If you like you can have as many as 20 votes of confidence, it’s not my business. My business is to make sure the right thing is done, and the right thing must be done whether today or tomorrow.”

Wike said despite the present challenge, he has not abandoned governance in the state.

His words: “I’m not going to play politics with the interest of my people. Rivers State is paramount to me first before any other person or group.

“So, the eyes can see what we have done. Up till today, we have never abandoned governance. So many people are already rounding off, taking the last they have, but we are still committed to commissioning and flagging off projects.

“Because of the love we have for our people, we will continue to serve you till May 29 when, by the grace of God, Siminialaye Fubara will be inaugurated the governor of Rivers State.”

Wike commended the defectors for their courage to rejoin their political family, saying there was no other political party that could win election in Rivers except the PDP.

He said: “PDP is a household name in Rivers State. Let me assure you that we will all work with you. (There is) nothing like somebody who has been there since and somebody who has just come back. The more the merrier.

“So, all of us must put hands together to make sure our governorship candidate, the National Assembly candidates, the House of Assembly candidates, at least from Rivers State, we return them 100 per cent. That’s our primary duty.”

Wike said: “If God gives you the ticket of PDP in this state, go home and sew your cloth for the inauguration day, because what will any Rivers man or woman be saying that he or she wants to vote for any other person in Rivers State?

“As a party, we have kept faith with our people. As a party, we have stood for our people. As a party, we have never allowed intimidation from any quarter, and that is what we are talking about the interest of Rivers State.

“Remember, before I came on board, one state had our property with them. As I came in as governor, with support and prayer of our people, we took all our property back.”

Wike said a new strategy would be adopted for the coming political season to replace “political big men” with people at the grassroots.

Speaking on behalf of defectors from Rivers South East Senatorial District, a former member of All Progressives Congress (APC) Board of Trustees, Dr. Sam Jaja said they had retraced their steps back to the PDP on self volition.

Jaja described Wike as a compassionate, loving and graceful leader, who was created to do good for the people.

Sacking Ayu will plunge PDP into deeper crisis —Atiku
The Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organisation stopped short of confirming yesterday that Iyorchia Ayu would not yield to the demand of Governor Wike to step down as PDP national chairman as a condition for reconciliation in the party.

Spokesman of the organisation, Mr Charles Aniagwu, said the PDP would be thrown into a constitutional crisis if Ayu were to leave now.

Aniagwu, speaking on Arise Television, said the current crisis in the PDP would be a child’s play if Ayu resigned ahead of the 2023 election.

But he warned that this position should not be interpreted to mean calling the bluff of Wike.

Aniagwu said the party leaders were taking a second look at the issues at stake based on what is permissible under the party’s constitution.

He said: “People may misinterpret it to mean calling the bluff of certain stakeholders, but that is far from it, because the party leadership examined the issues vis-a-vis the provisions of the party’s constitution as amended in 2017.

“When you look at that constitution, there are principal officers called the National Working Committee of the party led by the National Chairman, and in the other of hierarchy, the Deputy National Chairman who must also come from same zone with the National Chairman is next in line.

“The third in line is the National Secretary. And when you look at these positions, the National Chairman is from the North, the second in command is also from the North by virtue of the provision of the party’s constitution.

“In Section 45 of the party’s constitution, in the event of removal or resignation of the National Chairman, the National Deputy Chairman takes over and acts in the position of that National Chairman pending when the party is able to organise another election or do a NEC meeting to be able to take a decision as to how to rearrange the hierarchy of the party.”

He said because the positions are elective, even if Ayu were to step down for power to go to the South, the provisions of the constitution of the party would also be offended.

“That can only happen if you can also take a decision to remove the Deputy National Chairman of the party who the lot immediately falls on by provisions of the law,” he said.

“Even if the party is able to solve that puzzle by bringing both National Chairman and Deputy to the South, the third person in the hierarchy of the National Working Committee of the party is the National Secretary and that is in the South, specifically Senator Samuel Anyanwu from Imo State.

“Now if you decide to bring these two positions to the South, have you also made arrangements to take the National Secretary to the North?

“Because of these legal impediments the party examined it that given the time that we have, which is just about six months to the general elections, that it may likely snowball into some form of crisis that could trigger a whole lot of discomfort within the party.

“If we proceed to begin to make these changes, there is the tendency that the party may be embroiled in a crisis that would be worse than the one we are seeing at the moment.

“That greater crisis is what the ruling APC is waiting to happen, but the leadership of the party is intelligent enough and I’m happy that Governor Nyesom Wike and other leaders appreciate the need for the party to move as a whole into the 2023 general elections.”

The campaign spokesman further said it was on the basis of this that the party decided to look at what was possible at the moment, and that gave room for the resignation of Senator Walid Jibrin and subsequent emergence of Senator Adolphus Wabara as Chairman Board of Trustees.

“The emergence of Wabara from the south to join the Vice presidential candidate and National Secretary has created some form of balance in the interim.

“But what is most important is that there is a bigger elephant here, which is winning the 2023 general elections, because Nigerians are looking up to the PDP to rescue the nation from where we are at the moment.

“I am convinced that our leaders who have been craving for these changes would appreciate the fact that the party is listening but because of time, probably when the party may have won the elections in 2023 by the grace of God, we can now proceed to make some of these alterations that may not be injurious to our quest to win the general elections.”

PDP cannot restructure Nigeria if it can’t restructure itself –Makinde
Weighing in on the PDP crisis, Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde wondered how the party could restructure Nigeria if it could not restructure itself first.

“We are saying that if the PDP has promised to restructure Nigeria and we can’t restructure the party, then we are not ready to restructure Nigeria”, he said while commissioning the Nwaobasi Ring Road, Ehere and Umuakatawom – Osaa Okea Road roads in Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia State.

He spoke against the background of reports that he had been appointed chairman of the PDP Governors Forum to replace Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal.

Tambuwal has denied resigning.

Makinde said: “Even if they give it to me, I will not accept it, because there must be order. Ikpeazu (his host, Abia State Governor Ifeanyi) is the deputy chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum.

“If the chairman resigns, the deputy chairman will take over the position. This is how to have order in the process.”

He said chairmanship of the PDP Governors was not even among the demands of the Wike group to which he belongs.

The embattled National Chairman of the PDP had said on Friday that the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) would be meeting with Governor Wike and other aggrieved members of the party this week with a view to resolving the crisis.

Ayu broke the news of the planned meeting to the acting chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), Senator Adolphus Wabara.

“I want to also reveal to you that the NWC under the leadership of the Deputy National Chairman, Amb. Iliya Damagun, will be going to see not only Gov Wike but every other person who is aggrieved,” Ayu’s Special Adviser, on Media and Communications, Simon Imobo-Tswam, quoted him as saying.

He added: “It is the unanimous decision of the NWC and we think that you leading the fight for peace and full reconciliation in the party will be helpful,”

The mission to Port Harcourt will be led by the PDP Deputy National Chairman (North) Iliya Damagun, he said.

“There is a time for anger and there’s a time for the anger to stop. So help us to reach out to all aggrieved members and try and heal the party with your new role as the party Chairman of the BoT.”

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