PDP tackles Bode George over call for S/ West must produce party Chairman

Should Ayu resign, Deputy Chairman North, Damagum takes over, NPS corrects George

By Tunde Joshua,

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has tackled the former Deputy National Chairman (South), Chief Bode George on his call for reversal of the party’s national chairmanship position from the north-central to the south-west.

While Chief George wanted the position to be zoned to the south-west, the spokesperson of the party said everything should be done to let the status quo remain, arguing that any change of baton in leadership now will cause distraction to the party.

George had on Thursday on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily said presently, the party need the bargaining power of the south-west zone and should be complemented with the position of the national chairman.

The party chieftain was quoted to have said “there is this process we call inclusivity. Right now the South is out of the political equation of the PDP. I’m talking as an elder of the party, I’m talking as a person who has been in the party since 1998 and who listened to the concept generated and planted by the elders. My position is if we’re deviating from the culture then some of us who are still alive will be able to call to question and call them to remain steady on their course. This is because what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

“Now, you want me to lead a team in the South West, for me to have that bravado to go to the rostrum and tell our people that you must vote for our party. Where is that sense of inclusiveness? There are six positions in the land and those position has been so distributed that each zone will go home with something.

“Ayu himself knows that if the Presidency comes from his own zone, he will resign so that the people in the South will have a sense of inclusivity and be part of it. Our party is designed like a human body. If the leg says I don’t want to be part of the body, can it still remain a body? You know how difficult it is? Even the anus, where the excreta comes from is so vital in the human body.

“So, what we’re saying is that we need to go to our people, to reassure our people that this is still a party that is national in its outlook. There was a time you could get away with a Muslim-Muslim ticket, but our situation now doesn’t beg for that. Let’s do it the way it should be done so that you can bring that sense of oneness, that sense of belonging to the people. I’m not talking about whether Iyorchia Ayu did well or he didn’t do well, he has done his best.

“What we’re doing is that we’re going back to the people, to campaign to the people, to woo their hearts and minds, what do we tell them? How do we talk to them? Nigeria of today is not like Nigeria of 2015. So, if we have a divided house and we’re going out to this battle, we will be defeated.”

But the National Publicity Secretary denied that the party is in disarray.

Ologunagba said George was entitled to his opinion as the party being democratic, recognises and respects the right of every member to express personal opinions which may not necessarily be a reflection of the view of a majority of members.

He said “We respect his views but his views cannot be equated with the view of the majority of Our members.
“The view of a member no matter how highly placed cannot equate to that of the majority of members.

“Right now, we need to recognize the need for the party to remain united. We have a system, a robust conflict resolution mechanism, we are getting to our destination which is peace in the party and the resolution of our security challenges nationwide.”

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Speaking on the call for the dissolution of the NWC, and the resignation of Ayu, he said such a call will create an irreconcilable crisis in the party saying what PDP need now is unity.

He said, “we don’t want to go into the election with a constitutional crisis, we have barely six months to the election.

“Even if you say Ayu should go today, his replacement comes from the same north.

“There has been precedence when (Umaru) Yar’adua became our candidate (2007), Ahmadu Alli, a fellow northerner was national chairman and remained so until the party won the 2003 elections.

“Several organs of the party have met on different occasions and have passed a vote of confidence on his leadership and the National Working Committee.

“Elections are coming and we don’t need a distraction. You can’t destroy the whole for a part, we respect people’s rights and positions but going into negotiations, you cannot say it is either this or nothing.

“It means you’re not ready to negotiate, we don’t have that in our party, we are all interested in the survival of our party and our nation Nigeria. We will look at the need to do balancing.”

In the like manner, the House of Representatives Minority Leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu said such call for the dissolution of the NWC is not in the interest of the party.

He said “those who are calling for the dissolution of NWC do not mean well for the party” Rather, he said “they should be thinking about joining hands with the leadership of PDP in the mission to rescue Nigeria.

“We have implicit confidence in the leadership of our party under the leadership of our chairman, Senator (Dr) Iyorchia Ayu. We are part of him, we are with him”.

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