Chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party have taken a stand with the party amidst its ongoing rift with Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike and his group.
Premium Politics reported that Wike’s team pulled out of the PDP presidential standard-bearer, Atiku Abubakar’s campaign council demanding the National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu resign.
The Rivers governor who had lost the presidential ticket of the party with his Oyo state counterpart, Seyi Makinde and some members of the party demanded the resignation of the Ayu for ‘equity and justice.’
Following Wike’s team’s exit from the party presidential campaign council, the party members, chieftains and heavyweights had rain their comments, with most taking a stand with the party.
Reacting to the development, a former governor of Jigawa State and member of NEC, Sule Lamido, who spoke with The Punch said, “Whatever the party says, that is our position.”
A former governor of a North-West state who did not want his name in print advised Ayu to remain calm, stressing that the vast majority of PDP members are behind him.
“The chairman was elected, not appointed and he was elected for a fixed term. He cannot be removed simply because a few powerful stakeholders want him out. So, I advise him (Ayu) to remain calm. This challenge will be over in no distant time,” he assured.
Another member of NEC, Dr Eddy Olafeso, echoed the position of the party spokesman, calling for respect for the party’s constitution in the move to find a common ground.
He said, “There are thousands of prominent people in our party. Yes, those who pulled out of the campaign council are very important to us but the party is more important than individuals. The truth is, the party must not be trampled upon in a haste to please a number of people.
“We know the genesis of what is going on. People are trying to cause divisions in the party at this moment and this is very unfortunate.”
On whether the party would appoint replacements for Wike, Makinde, and others who pulled out of the campaign council, Olafeso had this to say, “The party will not wait for anybody. We won’t encourage absolutism and unilateralism. Our campaigns will commence with immediate effect as soon as the council is inaugurated next week.’’
A National Working Committee member, Timothy Osadolor, submitted that Wike’s withdrawal from the campaign council would not affect the party’s chances in the polls, noting that he is just a member among thousands of others.
“Sometimes the butterfly thinks he is a bird but he can never be a bird. Wike thinks he is the all and all of the PDP but he is not. Appropriating the attribute of God to himself is not necessary and it is far and above his capacity. Nigerians are not interested in who lost the primaries but those who have the solutions for the myriad of problems bedevilling the country,’’ he stated.
Speaking in an interview on Arise Television programme monitored by our correspondent, Thursday, a former presidential aspirant of the party, Chief Dele Momodu admonished the Wike-led group to embrace forgiveness and desist from making Atiku look like a weakling.
He stated, “Forgiveness is nothing new. It is recognised in every religion that when people offend you and come to you, which I think Atiku has done, the rest is within the party and the aggrieved members.
“My own worry is that we seem to be putting so much pressure on Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as if he can unilaterally remove the chairman of the party. Even if he (Atiku) should do that, a lot of us will feel vilified. He cannot do it (remove Ayu) but all he can do is speak with Dr Ayu and we don’t know what is going on between all of them.’’
Responding to a question, he noted, “I know nobody will want to be seen in that light. Like anytime Governor Wike says you must go, you must go; it becomes a psychological thing as well for the party. It doesn’t work that way.