he National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Iyorchia Ayu had promised to step down from his position in events prior to the presidential primary elections if a Northerner should emerge as the presidential candidate of the party.
TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports Dr Ayu, who is from the Northern region of the country, after emerging as the National Chairman of PDP, in an interview said if his party should pick its presidential candidate from the North, he will give up his position to ensure geopolitical balancing in the party.
“Luckily, party positions are not tied to the position of executive and legislative positions. However, I’m a very democratic person and I will do everything to promote the interest and image of my party. If the PDP says I should step down after a presidential candidate emerges and happens to be from the North, I will be very glad to do so because what we want is to take over the government and run the government in the interest of Nigerians. So, I’ll sacrifice anything to ensure that my party wins,” Ayu promised.
However, the National Chairman has reneged to the chagrin of some PDP members on this promise after former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, a core Northerner, emerged as the presidential candidate of the party.
Following the emergence of Atiku as the presidential flag bearer of the PDP, crisis struck the party, especially after the presidential candidate picked the Governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa as his running mate, against the expectations of some party members, who preferred Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike as the vice presidential candidate of the party.
To make the PDP approach the 2023 general polls with a united front, the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT); and National Working Committee (NWC) stepped in to address the lingering crisis between the presidential candidate and supporters of the Rivers State Governor. A committee was set up.
TNG gathered that supporters of Governor Wike resolved to remain in the PDP but made some demands, including that Ayu resigns as National Chairman to enable a Southerner to take over in line with the North-South power-sharing formula of the party since the presidential candidate is from the North.
However, Ayu has hitherto remained adamant and refused to step down from the National Chairman position of the party, even as Governor Wike has started a political romance with the All Progressives Congress (APC), inviting heavyweights of the opposition party to commission key projects in his State.
Even, reports emerged that the Rivers State Governor sued the PDP, Atiku, and the Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal while involving the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to contest the outcome of the presidential primary election. However, Wike, in a swift move, denied the reports.
Why Iyorchia Ayu will not step down as PDP National Chairman – Aide
Meanwhile, Special Adviser on Media and Communication to Ayu, Mr Simon Imobo-Tswana, in a statement released in Abuja on Monday, stated that the PDP National Chairman has no plan to step down from his position.
“We restate, therefore, that the PDP National Chairman has not resigned and has no plan of resigning. For clarity and emphasis, he was elected for a tenure of four years. Sections 45 and 47 of the PDP Constitution are clear on the removal and/or resignation of the National Chairman.
“Those who don’t know this should get copies of the party’s Constitution for more information on the matter. PDP members and the general public are advised to ignore any story of such a phantom resignation,” Mr Imobo-Tswana stated.
According to him, the stories purported that Ayu had resigned and that his resignation letter is with a former Senate President, David Mark is false and members of the public should disregard it. Imobo-Tswam said that with all emphasis, the story was, in its entirety, false, baseless, reckless, inaccurate and a complete work of fiction.
“If there is such a resignation, it exists only in the imagination of those who have made themselves available for hatchet jobs,” he said.
Imobo-Tswam said that if Ayu had resigned, he would give his resignation letter to the Deputy Chairman (North) and not Mark, adding Section 45 (I and ii) of the party’s Constitution was clear on that.
“So, where does Mark comes in here, being that he is not even a member of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC). It appears that those who have been procured to blackmail the national chairman out of office are not even aware of what the party’s Constitution says about the matter.
“We are shocked that such reckless, vicious, mischievous and fabricated falsehood can find prime space in the mainstream media. But, even more shocking is the fact that otherwise respected media houses have made themselves easy platforms for unscrupulous people to peddle falsehood and run smear campaigns,” he alleged.
Imobo-Tswam emphasised that the national chairman, “is on a crucial assignment to lead the PDP on a historic rescue mission comes February 2023. And, he will not be deterred or distracted by media terrorism or political blackmail”.