Some state branches of the Peoples Democratic Party have differed on the campaign for the removal of the National Chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu, by the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike.
While the Lagos State PDP Deputy Chairman, Benedict Tai, and the Zamfara State Chairman, Col. Bala Mande (retd.) stressed that Ayu should not be removed because it might pose a distraction to the party, the Kwara State PDP spokesperson, Tunji Moronfoye, was neutral on the matter.
However, the Oyo State PDP spokesperson, Akeem Olatunji, urged Ayu to resign from his position in the interest of the party and to achieve regional balance.
Tai said that Wike should not be allowed to be the “Alpha and Omega” of the party by influencing the removal of the national chairman of the party.
While urging Wike to “fall in line” and engage the party, he said the governor might likely work against the PDP for the Labour Party if he could not remove Ayu from office.
“He was the one that brought in (Uche) Secondus. He is also telling us that he brought Ayu and that he will also remove him. If this is allowed, Wike can even say he brought in the President, if Atiku becomes the president.
“I will advise that Wike falls in line and take whatever the party is offering him before he loses out completely,’’ Tai reasoned.
In the same vein, Mande said Wike was not empowered by the constitution of the nation and the party to remove Ayu as party chairman.
He also warned that the “distraction” caused by the clamour for Ayu’s removal might “work against the success of the party in the election year.”
He said, “We are in an election year and therefore, certain changes are going to be distractions. Removing Ayu is a distraction, and it is going to work against our success in the election year.”
Meanwhile, Moronfoye argued that the internal wrangling within the PDP was a reflection of the vibrant democracy in the party. He stressed that Wike should be allowed to negotiate his place within the party hierarchy.
However, Olatunji urged Ayu to step down in the interest of the PDP. He also stressed that PDP needed the regional balance within the party hierarchy to win the forthcoming elections.
Olatunji said, “Those clamouring for the resignation of Ayu are not asking for too much and I believe it is in the interest of the party. Governors Wike, Seyi Makinde(Oyo), Ikpeazu (Abia), Ortom (Benue), and the rest all love this party and they know that for us to win convincingly, we have to balance things so that when the campaigns start, they (APC) won’t be using that to campaign against us.”
Speaking on what the Board of Trustees was doing to resolve the crisis, a BoT member, Mrs Inna Ciroma, told our correspondent that the organ had been doing its best to resolve the issues.
The former minister stated, ‘’They (BoT) are the conscience of the party, meaning they are the people that can caution members of the party, whatever position you hold. This is very critical in ensuring discipline in the party.’’
Also, the National Vice-Chairman, North, Shan Dakkas, said, ‘’The role of the national working committee is not different from our own; so, we are part and parcel of what they are doing. There is nothing secret there; we are all working together to ensure that there is unity and peace.’’
The National Vice-Chairman South-South, Chief Dan Orbih stated that the national chairman should find a peace path for the matter to be resolved. He added that the party needed peace at the moment more than any other time.
A chieftain of the party and former BoT member, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, in his own contribution, encouraged peace and reconciliation ‘’because the party needs to win the forthcoming elections.’’ (Sunday PUNCH)